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Covent Garden 

First published Octooer 1934 
Second impression November raz 

'Tis most undoubtedly true, that all men are equally 
given to their pleasure, only thus, one mans pleasure lyes 
one way, and anothers another. Pleasures are all alike, 
simply considered in themselves, he that hunts, or he 
that governs the Commonwealth, they both please them- 
selves alike, he that takes pleasure to hear Sermons, enjoys 
himself as much as he that hears Plays. 

Whilst you are upon Earth, enjoy the good things that 
are here (to that end were they given) and be not melan- 
cholly, and wish yourself in Heaven. 


There should be a joyous vget of elegant extracts 
a Literatura Hilaris or Gaudens. 



I feel that a few apologies to readers should precede this 
book, which has been so laboriously charming to com- 
pile, and which seems to me, now I look through it, 
slimmed though it is of much that I hoped it would con- 
tain, to be so full of agreeable reading. First, then, there 
may be those who will seek in it in vain their own favourite 
pleasures, and will perhaps find some things that are not 
to them pleasures at all, such as gossip, football, chess, 
sprunking, catching animals, taking umbrage, or what not. 
I must refer them to my motto from Selden one man's 
pleasure lies one way, another's another. There is here 
no pleasure which I have not either observed, or read, 
to be such to some of mankind, though not all are so 
to me. Secondly, there may be those who will complain 
that this book wears an air disproportionately iyth 
century ; and, now I look at it, I see they will have 
grounds. But, apart from this being the literary period 
most familiar to me, and therefore coming most readily 
to my mind, its literature, from the rich and sonorous 
prose and lovely verse of its earlier years, through the 
graceful Latinized elegance of its middle period, to the 
lounging, easy urbanity of its close, is so entrancing that 
it lures one, like a siren, to dwell with it. I have even 
tagged the Roman dignity of Cicero's De Senectute with 
the lively man-about-town idiom of Mr. Samuel Parker, 



who makes Socrates exclaim briskly " Bless me, what do 
you mean. Sir ? " like a coffee-house wit. And this brings 
me to my next apology for translations. When I could, 
I have used the great translators Chapman, Florio, 
Holland, North, Golding, Greneway, Dryden, Pope, 
and the rest, who have created in their renderings living 
English prose or verse. To those who may think that 
apart from these, I should have left such familiar languages 
as Latin and French untranslated, I can but say that I 
think them very likely right, and apologise for offering 
them English versions of my own where they could have 
made as good, or better, themselves. 

As to the spelling of authors writing before the last 
quarter of the i8th century, my aim has been to follow 
the text of some edition published in the author's life- 
time, or immediately after ; or, if none was published, to 
follow the manuscript where it is accessible. I did not 
succeed in seeing the Pepys MS., so have followed the 
inconsistent orthography of those who have up till now 
edited him. When I have taken my text from an edition 
considerably later than the first, I have given the edition's 

I wish I could be sure that no inaccuracies have crept 
into my transcriptions, made in the British Museum from 
texts often dim, in a handwriting always bad, and typed 
afterwards. If any have, I apologise ; also (to any reader 
who dislikes it), for the contemporary spelling. This 
seems to be a matter of taste ; if more editors of our older 
literature had shared mine, they would have spared me 
much trouble. Even Arber modernised ; even Mr. Norman 
Ault, whose scholarly Seventeenth Century Lyrics so 



bristles with invaluable and generous sign-posts to good 
collections of verse. I dare say they are right ; it is 
obviously an arguable point, and each anthologist must 
do as he prefers. The only unpardonable method is, 
as it seems to me, compromise. 

There is here one little lyth century poem (on p. 22) 
which has not, I believe, been printed before ; if any 
one knows of it, I should be glad to hear. Several poems 
and prose extracts have not, so far as I know, been 
published since the century of their first appearance, 
so may be unfamiliar to many readers ; among these are 
what seem to me the two delightful ballads of young 
women bathing, not the whole of which proved, however, 
discreet enough for a modern anthology. 

Finally, I should like to thank several friends who have 
made intelligent and happy suggestions, and some who 
have supplied material, (to Miss Antonia White, for 
instance, I owe a sentence from an unpublished letter 
of Jane Welsh's), and to acknowledge the unfailing and 
kindly help of the superintendents of the British Museum 
Reading Room, and the staff of the London library. I 
should also like to express gratitude for the work of all 
the scholarly editors who so greatly lighten the task of 
anthologists, such, for instance, as Miss Marjorie Hope 
Nicholson, whose patient skill in deciphering several miles 
of the abominable handwriting of Henry More for her 
Conway Letters filled me with admiration when I wrestled 
with it myself. 


Preface page 7 

Agreeable Encounters 15 

Authorship 25 

Bathing 39 

Being Flattered 52 

Being Sent Down 59 

Bells 62 

Catching Animals 64 

Celestial 86 

Christmas 107 

Clothes 109 

Collecting 115 

Conversation 119 

Conversion 127 

Correspondence 136 

Courtesy 140 

Credulity 143 

Curious Sights 147 

Dancing 149 

Day-Dreams 169 

Decanal 170 

Deploring the Decadence of the Age 171 

Destruction 187 



Detachment page 193 

Eccentricity 198 

Exercise 200 

Filial 201 

Flattery 204 

Female Pleasures 211 

Fraternal 225 

Games 229 

Gardens 235 

Giving Advice 248 

Gossip 254 

Grasping 264 

Grottoes 266 

Handicrafts 276 

Handsome Persons 277 

Happy Deaths 293 

Happy Lot, A 308 

Hot Baths 313 

Houses 316 

House-pride 321 

Ice 322 

Ignorance 324 

In Bed 329 

Industry 342 

Insult 346 

Knowledge 348 

Liberty 350 

Lunatic 353 

Making a Fuss 364 



Making Merry page 368 

Male Pleasures 375 

Malice 380 

Marine 385 

Mathematical 397 

Matrimony 400 

Metropolitan 419 

Odium Theologicum 43 1 

Old Age 446 

Orchards 459 

Parental 466 

Parties 480 

Patriotism 488 

Pet Animals 501 

Play-going 516 

Prison 519 

Rain 534 

Rambling 535 

Reading 536 

Repartee 546 

Respect from Lower Orders 546 

Rural 548 

Saga Growth 558 

Satisfactory Engagements 559 

Scepticism 581 

Sermons 585 

Showing OS 59 1 

Shows 600 

Shopping 602 



Single Life, The page 609 

Sloth 612 

Smoking 614 

Snacks between Meals 625 

Sororal 632 

Smells 634 

Solitude 639 

Spring 643 

Sprunking 646 

Street Music 659 

Sunday 660 

Taking Umbrage 672 

Thrift 673 

Travel 676 

Tapestry Animals 687 

Taverns 687 

Vanity 689 

Virtue 690 

Visits 694 

Wealth 703 

Weddings 712 

Woods 718 

Xenophilism 720 

Xenophobia 726 

Acknowledgments 733 

Index of Authors and Translators 735 

Index of First Lines of Verse 745 




If Elephants see a man comming against them that is 
out of the way in wildernes, for they would not afray 
him, they will draw themselves somewhat out of the way, 
and then they stint, and pass little and little before him, 
and teach him the way, and if a dragon come against 
him, they fight with the dragon and defend the man, and 
put them forth to defend the man strongly and mightily. 


De Proprietatibus Rerum (c. 1240) 
Trans. John Trevisa (1398, modernised 1582) 


I was brought acquainted with a Burgundian Jew, 
who had married an apostate Kentish woman. I asked 


him divers questions : he told me, amongst other things, 
that the World should never end ; that our soules trans- 
migrated, and that even those of the most holy persons did 
pennance in the bodyes of bruits after death, and so he 
interpreted the banishment and salvage life of Nebuchad- 
nezzar ; that all the Jews should rise againe and be led to 
Jerusalem ; that the Romans only were the occasion of our 
Saviour's death ; . . . that when the Messias came, all 
the ships, barkes, and vessells of Holland should, by the 
powere of certain strange whirle winds, be loos'd from 
their ankers and transported in a moment to all the desolat 
ports and havens throughout the world, wherever the dis- 
persion was, to convey their breathren and tribes to the 
Holy Citty ; with other such like stuff. He was a merry 
drunken fellow, but would by no means handle any 
money (for something I purchas'd of him) it being 
Saturday ; but desired me to leave it in the window, 
meaning to receive it on Sunday morning. 


Diary (Leyden, Aug. 28, 1641) 


I remember in those Times, an admired Original of 
that Vocation, sitting in a Coffee-house near two Gentle- 
men, whereof one was of the Clergy, who were engag'd 
in some Discourse that savoured of Learning ; this 
Officer thought fit to interpose, and professing to deliver 
the Sentiments of his Fraternity, as well as his own . . . 
turning to the Clergy-Man, spoke in the following 
Manner, " D n me, Doctor, say what you will, the Army 


is the only School for Gentlemen. Do you think my lord 
Marlborough beat the French with Greek and Latin? 
D n me, a Scholar when he comes into good Company, 
what is he but an Ass ? D n me, I would be glad, by 
G d, to see any of your Scholars with his Nouns, and his 
Verbs, and his Philosophy, and Trigonometry, what a 
Figure he would make at a Siege or Blockade, or ren- 
countring, d n me," etc. After which he proceeded with 
a Volley of Military Terms . . . harder to be understood 
than any that were coined by the Commentators upon 


Essay on Modern Education (c. 1723) 


Some days after this conversation I walked to Lausanne, 
to breakfast at the hotel with an old friend. ... He pre- 
sently came in, accompanied by two English ladies. . . . 
The husband of one of them soon followed. I saw by 
their utilitarian garb, as well as by the blisters and blotches 
on their cheeks, lips and noses, that they were pedestrian 
tourists, fresh from the snow-covered mountains. . . . 
The man was evidently a denizen of the north, his accent 
harsh, skin white, of an angular and bony build, and self- 
confident and dogmatic in his opinions. The precision and 
quaintness of his language, as well as his eccentric remarks 
on common things, stimulated my mind. Our icy islanders 
thaw rapidly when they have drifted into warmer lati- 
tudes : broken loose from its anti-social system, mystic 
casts, coteries, sets and sects, they lay aside their 

purse-proud, tuft-hunting, and toadying ways, and are 
very apt to run riot in the enjoyment of all their senses 

We talked as loud and as fast as if under the exhilarating 
influence of champagne, instead of such a sedative com- 
pound as cafe au lait. . . . The stranger expressed his disgust 
at the introduction of carriages into the mountain districts 
of Switzerland, and at the old fogies who used them. 

" As to the arbitrary, pitiless, Godless wretches," he 
exclaimed, " who have removed nature's landmarks by 
cutting roads through Alps and Apennines, until all things 
are reduced to the same dead level, they will be arraigned 
hereafter with the unjust ; they have robbed the best 
specimens of what men should be, of their freeholds in 
the mountains ; the eagle, the black cock, and the red deer 
they have tamed or exterminated. The lover of nature can 
nowhere find a solitary nook to contemplate her beauties. 
Yesterday," he continued, " at the break of day, I scaled 
the most rugged height within my reach ; it looked in- 
accessible ; this pleasant delusion was quickly dispelled ; 
I was rudely startled out of a deep reverie by the accursed 
jarring, jingling, and rumbling of a caleche, and harsh 
voices that drowned the torrent's fall." 

The stranger, now hearing a commotion in the street, 
looked out of the window, and rang the bell violently. 

" Waiter," he said, " is that our carriage ? Why did 
you not tell us ? Come, lasses, be stirring, the freshness of 
the day is gone. You may rejoice in not having to walk ; 
there is a chance of saving the remnants of skin the sun 
has left on our chins and noses." . . . 

On their leaving the room to get ready for their journey, 
my friend told me the strangers were the poet Words- 
worth, his wife and sister. Who could have divined this ? I 
could see no trace, in the hard features and weather-stained 


brow of the outer man, of the divinity within him. 
In a few minutes the travellers re-appeared. . . . Now 
that I knew that I was talking to one of the gentle craft, 
as there was no time to waste, I asked him abruptly what 
he thought of Shelley as a poet ? 

" Nothing," he replied, as abruptly. 

Seeing my surprise, he added, " A man who has not 
produced a good poem before he is twenty-five, we may 
conclude cannot and never will do so." 

" The Cenci ! " I said eagerly. 

" Won't do," he replied, shaking his head, as he got 
into the carriage : a rough-coated Scotch terrier followed 

" This hairy fellow is our flea-trap," he shouted out, 
as they started off. 

When I recovered from the shock of having heard the 
harsh sentence passed by an elder bard on a younger 
brother of the Muses, I exclaimed, After all, poets are 
but earth. 


Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron (1858) 

I drove to Pisa . . . and . . . hastened to the Tre Palazzi 
. . . where the Shelleys and Williamses lived on different 
flats under the same roof, as is the custom on the Contin- 
ent. The Williamses received me in their earnest cordial 
manner ... we were in loud and animated conversation, 
when I was rather put out by observing in the passage 
near the open door, opposite to where I sat, a pair of 
glittering eyes steadily fixed on mine ; . . . Mrs. Williams's 


eyes followed the direction of mine, and going to the 
doorway, she laughingly said, 

" Come in, Shelley, it's only our friend Tre just arrived." 

Swiftly gliding in, blushing like a girl, a tall thin 
stripling held out both his hands ; and although I could 
hardly believe, as I looked at his flushed, feminine and 
artless face, that it could be the Poet, I returned his warm 
pressure. ... I was silent from astonishment : was it 
possible this mild-looking, beardless boy could be the 
veritable monster at war with all the world ? excom- 
municated by the Fathers of the Church, deprived of his 
civil rights by the fiat of a grim Lord Chancellor, dis- 
carded by every member of his family, and denounced by 
the rival sages of our literature as the founder of a Satanic 
school ? I could not believe it : it must be a hoax. He 
was habited like a boy, in a black jacket and trowsers, which 
he seemed to have outgrown, or his tailor, as is the custom, 
had most shamefully stinted him in his " sizings." Mrs. 
Williams saw my embarrassment, and to relieve me asked 
Shelley what book he had in his hand ? His face bright- 
ened, and he answered briskly. 

" Calderon's Magico Prodigioso, I am translating some 
passages in it." 

" Oh, read it to us ! " 

Shoved off from the shore of common-place incidents 
that could not interest him, and fairly launched on a theme 
that did, he instantly became oblivious of everything but 
the book in his hand. The masterly manner in which he 
analysed the genius of the author, his lucid interpretation 
of the story, and the ease with which he translated into our 
language the most subtle ^nd imaginative passages of the 
Spanish poet, were marvellous, as was his command of 
the two languages. After this touch of his quality, I no 


longer doubted his identity ; a dead silence ensued ; 
looking up, I asked, 

" Where is he ? " 

Mrs. Williams said, " Who ? Shelley ? Oh, he comes 
and goes like a spirit, no one knows when or where." 

Presently he re-appeared with Mrs. Shelley. She . . . 
welcomed me to Italy, and asked me the news of London 
and Paris, the new books, operas, and bonnets, marriages, 
murders, and other marvels. The Poet vanished, and tea 



We find our Air consists of thicker and grosser Vapours 
than the Air of the Moon. So that one of her Inhabitants 
arriving at the Confines of our World, as soon as he enters 
our Air will inevitably drown himself, and we shall see 
him fall dead on the Earth. 

I should rejoyce at a Wreck, said the Countess, as much 
as my Neighbours on the Coast of Sussex ; how pleasant 
would it be to see 'em lie scatter'd on the ground, where 
we might consider at our ease their extraordinary Figures ! 
But what, said /, if they could swim on the outward surface 
of our Air, and be as curious to see us, as you are to see 
them ; should they Angle or cast a Net for us, as for so 
many Fish, would that please you ? Why not ? said the 
Countess ; For my part I would go into their Nets of 
mine own accord, were it but for the pleasure to see such 
strange Fishermen. 


A Plurality of Worlds. Trans. John Glanvill (1688) 


Anno 1670, not far from Cyrencester,was an Apparition: 
Being demanded, whether a good Spirit or a bad ? re- 
turned no answer, but disappeared with a curious Perfume 
and a most melodious Twang. Mr. W. Lilly believes it 
was a Farie. So Propertius. 


Miscellanies (1696) 


I saw a Countrey lasse 

did lye upon the grass, 

her hatt of Strawe was made, 

To keepe her in the Shade, 

Her Band of plated haire 

Scorning what els to ware, . . . 

Her purfled Sleeves were white 
lik Sunn dazling my Sight 
her mayden Ribbon ty'de 
to shew a Virgin Bride 
her Petticoate the die 
just like an Azure skye 
Sheapheards to shew thiere Loves 
offer'd Kidds Leather Gloves. 

Skynn white as Mornings milke 
softer then downe, or Silke 

Brest Rocks of Curds all Seas 
not prest yet for a Cheese, 
haire brown as is the Berry, 
her lookes modistly merry 
her face still did renew 
washt in each Mornings dew 

Some Rurall folke did say 

Her breath tasted like whay 

When lipps with mine did meete, 

Butter milke sugar'd sweete 

Her dewy lipps Loves Streame 

Fresh Strawberryes and Creame. . . . 

Her Waterpoole the Glasse, 

bracelets redd berries was 

flowers for Jewells wore 

All Arts her Love for bore . . . 

her Bedd the fresher grasse 

her Pillowe Rushes bough'd 

Trees, Curtaines for her Shroud. . . . 

for Hoboyes shee did keepe 
a Quire of Birds did sing 
thinking she was the Spring 
the murmurring Rivolettes playd, 
Loves Spiritts then Obey'd, 
The Brookes did dropping Weepe 
while shee did gently sleepe. 


/ saw a Country Lasse (a. 1687) 


As I left that place, and enterd into the next field, a second 
pleasure entertained me, 'twas a handsom milk-maid, 
that had cast away all care, and sung like a Nightinghale, 
her voice was good, and the Ditty fitted for it, 'twas that 
smooth song which was made by Kit Marlowe now at 
least fifty yeers ago : and the Milk-Maids mother sung an 
answer to it, which was made by Sir Walter Raleigh in 
his younger daies. They were old-fashioned Poetrie, but 
choicely good, I think much better then that now in 
fashion in this critical age. Look yonder, on my word, 
yonder they be both a milking againe ; I will give her the 
chub, and perswade them to sing these two songs to us. 
PISCATOR : God speed, good woman, I have been a fishing, 
and am going to Bleak Hall to my bed, and having caught 
more fish then will sup my self and friend, will bestow 
this upon you and your daughter. . . . 
MILKWOMAN : Marrie God requite you Sir, and we'l eat it 
cheerfully : and if you come this way a fishing two months 
hence, a grace of God He give you a Sillibub of new 
Verjuice, in a new-made Hay-Cock, and my Maudlin shall 
sing you one of her best Ballads, for she and I both love 
all Anglers, they be such honest, civil, quiet men : in the 
mean-time, will you drink a draught of Red Cowes milk, 
you shall have it freely. 

Pise : No, I thank you, but I pray you do us a Courtesie 
that shall stand you and your daughter in nothing, and we 
wil think our selves stil something in your debt ; it is but 
to sing us a song, that was sung by you and your daughter 
when I last past over this meadowe about eight or nine 
daies since. 


The Compleat Angler (1653) 


Sir G. Carteret, Sir W. Pen and I walked forth, and I 
spied Mrs Pierce and another lady passing by. So I left 
them and went to the ladies, and walked with them up and 
down, and took them to Mrs Stephens, and there gave 
them wine and sweetmeats, and were very merry ; and 
then comes the Doctor, and we carried them by coach to 
their lodging, which was very poor, but the best they 
could get, and such as made much mirth among us. So I 
appointed one to watch when the gates of the town were 
ready to be shut, and to give us notice ; and so the Doctor 
and I staid with them playing and laughing, and at last 
were forced to bid good night for fear of being locked into 
the town all night. So we walked to the yard, designing 
how to prevent our going to London to-morrow, that we 
might be merry with these ladies, which I did. 


Diary (April 29, 1662) 



'Twill be a pretty thing, and I am glad you putt me on it. 
I doe it playingly. This morning being up by 10, I writt 
two lives : one was Sir John Suckling, of whom I wrote a 
leafe and a in folio. . . . 


My memoires of lives is now a booke of 2 quires, close 
written : and after I had begun it, I had such an impulse 
on my spirit that I could not be at quiet till I had done 
it. ... 

My booke of lives . . . they will be in all about six 
score, and I beleeve never any in England were delivered 
so faithfully and with so good authority. 


Letter to Anthony Wood (1680) 


I am writing a comedy for Thomas Shad well. . . . And I 
shall fit him with another, The Countrey Revell, . . . but 
of this, mum ! for 'tis very satyricall against some of my 
mischievous enemies which I in my tumbling up and 
downe have collected. 



He [Richardson] was delighted by his own works. No 
author enjoyed so much the bliss of excessive fondness. 
. . . The extreme delight which he felt on a review of his 
own works, the works themselves witness. Each is an 
evidence of what some will deem a violent literary vanity. 
To Pamela is prefixed a letter from the editor (whom we 
know to be the author} consisting of one of the most 
minutely laboured panegyrics of the work itself, that ever 


the blindest idolater of some ancient classic paid to the 
object of his frenetic imagination. ... To the author's 
own edition of his Clarissa is appended an alphabetical 
arrangement of the sentiments dispersed throughout the 
work ; and such was the fondness that dictated this volu- 
minous arrangement, that such trivial 

" habits are not easily changed," " men are known by 
their companions/ 5 etc. seem alike to be the object of their 
author's admiration. And in Sir Charles Grandison, is not 
only prefixed a complete index, with as much exactness as 
if it were a History of England, but there is also appended 
a list of the similes and allusions in the volume. . . . 
Literary history does not record a more singular example 
of that self-delight which an author has felt on a revision 
of his works. It was this intense pleasure which produced 
his voluminous labours. 


Curiosities of Literature (1792-1823) 


The mere act and habit of writing, without probably even 
a remote view of publication, has produced an agreeable 
delirium. . . . Petrarch exhibits no solitary instance of 
this passion of the pen. " I read and I write night and day ; 
it is my only consolation. ... On the table where I dine, 
and by the side of my bed, I have all the materials for 
writing; and when I awake in the dark, I write, although I 
am unable to read the nextlnofning what I have written." 
Petrarch was not always in his perfect senses. 

The copiousness and the multiplicity of the writings of 


many authors have shown that too many find a pleasure 
in the act of composition which they do not communicate 
to others. ... At the early period of printing, two of the 
most eminent printers were ruined by the volumes of one 
author ; we have their petition to the pope to be saved 

from bankruptcy We are astonished at the fertility and 

the size of our own writers of the seventeenth century, 
when the theological war of words raged, spoiling so many 
pages and brains. . . . They went on with their work, 
sharply or bluntly, like witless mowers, without stopping 
to whet their scythes. They were inspired by the scrib- 
bling demon of that rabbin, who, in his oriental style and 
mania of volume, exclaimed that were " the heavens 
formed of paper, and were the trees of the earth pens, and if 
the entire sea run ink, these only could suffice " for the 
monstrous genius he was about to discharge on the 
world. . . . 

The pleasure which authors of this stamp experience is 
of a nature which, whenever certain unlucky circum- 
stances combine, positively debarring them from publi- 
cation, will not abate their ardour one jot ; and their pen 
will still luxuriate in the forbidden page which even 
booksellers refuse to publish. 



He may be well intituled Voluminous Prynne, as Tostatus 
Abulensis was 200 years before his time called Voluminous 
Tostatus ; for I verily beUeve, that if it be rightly com- 
puted, he wrot a sheet for every day of his life, reckoning 
from the time when he came to the use of reason and the 


state of Man. His custom when he studied was to put on 
a long quilted cap which came an inch over his eyes, 
serving as an Umbrella to defend them from too much 
light, and seldom eating a dinner, would every 3 hours or 
so be maunching a roll of bread. 

Athenae Oxoniensis (1692) 


Next Thursday I shall be delivered to the World, for 
whose inconstant and malicious levity I am coolly but 
firmly prepared. EDWARD GnJBON 

Letter to his Stepmother, before publication of vols 2 and 3 

of the Decline and Fall (1781) 


Let there be Patrons ; patrons like to thee, 

Brave Porter \ Poets ne'r will wanting be ; 

FabiuSy and Cotta, Lentulus, all live 

In thee, thou Man of Men ! who here do'st give 

Not onely subject-matter for our wit. 

But likewise Oyle of Maintenance to it : 

For which, before thy Threshold, we'll lay downe 

Our Thyrse, for Scepter ; and our Baies for Crown. 

For, to say truth, all Garlands are thy due ; 

The Laurelly Mirtle, Oke, and Ivie too. 


To the Patron of Poets, Mr. Endymion Porter 

Hesperides (1648) 


Vapid. Now do take my advice and write a play if any 
accident happens, remember, it is better to have written 
a damn'd play than no play at all it snatches a man from 


The Dramatist (1793) 


The Duke of Gloucester, brother of King George III, 
permitted Mr Gibbon to present to him the first volume of 
the History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. 
When the second volume of that work appeared, it was 
quite in order that it should be presented to His Royal 
Highness in like manner. The Prince received the author 
with much good nature and affability, saying to him, as he 
laid the quarto on the table, " Another d-mned thick 
square book ! Always scribble, scribble ! Eh ! Mr Gib- 
bon ? " 

Does not every reader of this anecdote judge it to be a 
most ingenious example of persiflage ? How admirably 
does the prince quiz the vo-luminous Historian ! . . . 
We must suppose Mr Gibbon to be a very silly man, if 
he could be flattered by the leave given to lay his works 
before so incompetent a personage. 


Personal and Literary Memorials (1829) 


He walked much and contemplated, and he had in the 
head of his staffe a pen and inke-horne, carried alwayes a 
note-booke in his pocket, and as soon as a thought darted, 
he presently entered it into his booke, or otherwise he 
might perhaps have lost it. 


Brief Lives. Thomas Hobbes (c. 1680) 


He has the ardor scribendi upon him so strong, that he 
would rather you'd ask him to write an epilogue to a new 
play, than offer him your whole estate the theatre is his 
world, in which are included all his hopes and wishes. In 
short he is a dramatic maniac. 

The Dramatist (1793) 


Every animal has an aliment peculiarly suited to its 
constitution. The heavy ox seeks nourishment from earth ; 
the light cameleon has been supposed to exist on air ; a 
sparer diet than even this will satisfy the man of true 


genius, for he makes a luxurious banquet on empty 
applause. It is this alone which has inspired all that was 
ever truly great and noble among us. It is, as Cicero finely 
calls it, the echo of virtue. Avarice is the passion of in- 
ferior natures ; money the pay of the common herd. The 
author who draws his quill merely to take a purse, no 
more deserves success than he who presents a pistol. 


Inquiry into the present state of polite learning (1759) 


He called to us with a sudden air of exultation, as the 
thought darted into his mind, " O ! Gentlemen, I must 
tell you a very great thing. The Empress of Russia has 
ordered the Rambler to be translated into the Russian 
language : so I shall be read on the banks of the Wolga. 
Horace boasts that his fame would extend as far as the 
banks of the Rhone ; now the Wolga is farther from me 
than the Rhone was from Horace." BOSWELL. " You 
must be pleased with this, Sir." JOHNSON. " I am 
pleased, Sir, to be sure." I have since heard that the 
report was not well founded ; but the elation discovered 
by Johnson in the belief that it was true, shewed a noble 
ardour for literary fame. 


Life of Johnson (1791) 


JOHNSON : But wilt thou do me a favour, now ? 
BAYES : Ay, Sir : What is't ? 

JOHNS. : Why, to tell him the meaning of thy last Play. 
BAYES : How, Sir, the meaning ? do you mean the Plot. 
JOHNS. : Ay, ay ; any thing. 

BAYES : Faith, Sir, the Intrigo's now quite out of my head ; 
but I have a new one, in my pocket, that I may say is a 
Virgin ; 't has never yet been blown upon. I must tell you 
one thing. 'Tis all new Wit ; and, though I say it, a better 
than my last : and you know well enough how that took. 
In fine, it shall read, and write, and act, and plot, and 
shew, ay, and pit, box and gallery, I gad, with any play 
in Europe. . . . 

BAYES : My next Rule is the Rule of Record, and by way 

of Table-Book. Pray observe. 

JOHNS. : Well, we hear you : go on. 

BAYES : As thus. I come into a Coffee-House, or some 

other place where wittie men resort, I make as if I minded 

nothing ; (do you mark ?) but as soon as any one speaks, 

pop I flap it down, and make that, too my own. 

JOHNS. : But, Mr Bayes, are not you sometimes in danger 

of their making you restore, by force, what you have 

gotten thus by Art ? 

BAYES : No, Sir ; the world's unmindful : they never take 

notice of these things. . . . 

BAYES : Whereupon they all clapping 
SMITH : But, suppose they do not. 
BAYES : Suppose ! Sir, you may suppose what you please, 
BP 33 

I have nothing to do with your suppose, Sir, nor am not 
at all mortifi'd at it ; not at all, Sir ; I gad, not one jot. 
Suppose, quoth a ! (Walks away.) 

JOHNS, : Phoo ! pr'ythee, Bayes, don't mind what he 
says : he's a fellow newly come out of the Country, he 
knows nothing of what's the relish, here, of the Town. 

BAYES : If I writ, Sir, to please the Country, I should 
have follow'd the old plain way ; but I write for some 
persons of Quality, and peculiar friends of mine, that 
understand what Flame and power in writing is ; and 
they do me the right, Sir, to approve of what I do. 
JOHNS.: Ay, ay, they will clap, I warrant you; never 
fear it. 

BAYES : I'm sure the design's good ; that cannot be 
deny'd. And then, for language, I gad, I defie 'em all, in 
nature, to mend it. Besides, Sir, I have printed above a 
hundred sheets of papyr, to insinuate the Plot into the 
Boxes : and withal, have appointed two or three dozen of 
my friends, to be readie in the Pit, who, I'm sure, will 
clap, and so the rest, you know, must follow ; and then, 
pray, Sir, what becomes of your suppose ? Ha, ha, ha. 
JOHNS. : Nay, if the business be so well laid, it cannot miss. 
BAYES : I think so, Sir. ... If I could engage 'em to clap, 
before they see the Play, you know 'twould be so much the 
better ; because then they were engaged : for, let a man 
write never so well, there are, now-a-days, a sort of 
persons, they call Critiques, that, I gad, have no more wit 
in 'em than so many Hobby-horses ; but they'l laugh you, 
Sir, and find fault, and censure things that, A gad, I'm 
sure they are not able to do themselves. A sort of envious 
persons, that emulate the glories of persons of parts, and 
think to build their fame, by calumniating of persons that, 


I gad, to my knowledge, of all persons in the world are, 
in nature, the persons that do as much despise all that, 
as a in fine, Fl say no more of 'em. 
JOHNS. : Ay, ay, you have said enough of 'em in con- 
science : Fm sure more than they'l ever be able to answer. 
BAYES : Why, Fl tell you, Sir, sincerely and bonafide', were 
it not for the sake of some ingenious persons, and choice 
female spirits, that have a value for me, I would see 'em 
all hang'd before I would e'er more set pen to paper ; 
but let 'em live in ignorance like ingrates. 
JOHNS. : Ay marry ! that were a way to be reveng'd on 
'em indeed : and, if I were in your place, now, I would 
do it. 

BAYES : No, Sir ; there are certain tyes upon me, that I 
cannot be disengag'd from ; otherwise, I would. . . . 

BAYES : That's very good, i'faith : ha, ha, ha. ... How, do 
you not like it now, Gentlemen ? Is not this pure Wit ? 
SMITH : 'Tis snip snap, Sir, as you say ; but, methinks, not 
pleasant, not to the purpose, for the Play does not go on. 
BAYES : Play does not go on ? I don't know what you 
mean : why, is not this part of the Play ? 
SMITH : Yes, but the Plot stands still. 
BAYES : Plot stand still ! why, what a Devil is the Plot 
good for, but to bring in fine things ? 
SMITH : O, I did not know that before. 
BAYES : No, I think you did not : nor many things more, 
that I am Master of. Now, Sir, I gad, this is the bane of 
all us writers : let us soar never so little above the common 
pitch, I gad, all's spoil'd ; for the vulgar never understand 
us, they can never conceive you, Sir, the excellencie of 
these things. 


JOHNS : 'Tis a sad fate, I must confess : but you write on 


BAYES : Write on ? I gad, I warrant you. 'Tis not their 

talk shall stop me : if they catch me at that lock, I give 

'em leave to hang me. As long as I know my things to be 

good, what care I what they say ? 


The Rehearsal (1672) 


The volume of my history . . . was now ready for the 
press. . . . During this awful interval, I was neitherjelatcd 
by ^he^ambition ofjame, nor^ depressed by the apprehen- 
sijon^fcpntempt. My diligence and accuracy were attested 
by my own conscience. . . . 

I am at a loss how to describe the success of the work 
without betraying the vanity of the writer. The first 
impression was exhausted in a few days ; a second and 
third edition were scarcely adequate to the demand, and 
the bookseller's property was twice invaded by the pyrates 
of Dublin. My book was on every table, and almost on 
every toilette ; the historian was crowned by the taste of 
fashion of the day ; nor was the general voice disturbed 
by the barking of any profane critic. . . . 

. . . Twenty happy years have been animated by the 
labour of my history; and its success has given me a name, 
a rank, a character, in the World, to which I should not 
otherwise have been entitled. The freedom of my writings 
has, indeed, provoked an implacable tribe ; but as I was 
safe from the stings, I was soon accustomed to the buzzing 


of the hornets ; my nerves are not tremblingly alive ; and 
my literary temper is so happily framed, that I am more 
sensible of pleasure than pain. The rational pride of an 
author may be offended rather than flattered by vague 
indiscriminate praise ; but he cannot, he should not, be 
indifferent to the fair testimonies of private and public 
esteem. . . . 


Autobiography (1789) 


All on a sudden he changed his mode of life, shut him- 
self up in his rooms, and rarely associated with any one. 
In the course of a few weeks, " A Ramble through Italy, 
by the Rev. William Moore, Fellow of King's College," 
was announced for publication. As he was a well-known 
character, many persons were very desirous to see the 
book. The adventures related (which were all imaginary, 
as he had never been out of England) were amusing 
enough, although some of them were highly improbable. 
. . . Moore netted three hundred guineas by his Travels, 
and as he spent nothing during his tour, he became com- 
paratively a rich man, and was enabled to compound with 
some of the most urgent of his creditors. He was sub- 
sequently appointed to a living, by which he was enabled 
to launch again into the gay world ; but his conduct was so 
notorious that his companions were of a less respectable 
class than formerly. (1796) 

Reminiscences of Cambridge (1852) 



BOSWELL : " But I wonder. Sir, you have not more 
pleasure in writing than in not writing." 
JOHNSON : " Sir, you may wonder." 


Life of Johnson (1791) 


O, if my lot should give me such a friend, who knows so 
well how to honour the men of Phoebus ! . . . When at last, 
having traversed the years of a life not silent, and being 
full of years, I yield to my ashes their rights, this friend 
would stand, with wet eyes, beside my bier, and it will be 
enough if I say to him, standing there, " Let me be thy 
care." He would carefully and gently dispose in a little 
urn my limbs, loosened by livid death. And perhaps he 
would carve my face in marble, binding my locks with a 
wreath of Paphian myrtle or laurel of Parnassus, and I 
should rest in secure peace. Then, so far as there is any 
faith, any certain reward for the good, I myself, removed 
to the heaven of the sky-dwelling gods, to wherever toil 
and a pure heart and flaming excellence are borne, shall 
watch in some degree, (so far as the fates permit) from 
that retired world this world here, and, with my mind 
calmly smiling, shall have my face suffused with glorious 
light, and at the same time shall joyfully applaud myself 
in heavenly Olympus. 


Mansus (1639) (Trans, from Latin) 



I have completed all things so exquisitely to my minde 
that I would not for all the world but that I had had this 
opportunity of revising them, so fond am I of the frutes of 
my own minde, which yet I think I should not be, did I 
not hope that they will be very serviceable to the World 
in their chiefest concernes. 


Letter to Lady Conway (1662) 



From the twentieth day of May unto the twentieth of 
August, we may commodiously adventure our Bodies in 
the water. . . . 

If you can swim, leap into the water ; but if not, then 
walk gently in, till you have waded so deep that the water 
covers your belly, and is up to your middle : then spread 
your body flat upon the waters, and endeavour to swim 
with a good courage. . . . 

He that does them [swimming exercises] with dexterity, 
and can exercise them all as easily as he can see the Sun, 


all persons will call him Neptunes Nephew, The Captain of 
the Sea ; and will never cease filling their minds with 
his praise. . . . 

Besides the delight of the mind that the party swimming 
hath, there is much profit or use ; for he may swim to any 
shear, and view it all the time he is Swimming. . . . 

Touch your Toes [while swimming] and handle them 
as you please, and pare them at pleasure, for you may 
safely do it, and without danger. 


The Compleat Swimmer, or the Art of Swimming (1658) 
Adapted from Everard Digby's De Arte Natandi 



It was in June, and 'twas on Barnaby Bright too, 
A time when the days are long, and nights are short, 
A crew of merry Girles, and that in the night too, 
Resolv'd to wash in a river, and there to sport ; 
And there (poore things) they then resolv'd to be merry 


And with them did bring good store of junketting stuff e, 
As Bisket, and Cakes, and Sugar, and Syder, and Perry 

Of each such a quantity, that was more than enough. 

But mark what chanct unto this innocent crew then, 
Who thought themselves secure from any eare ; 
They knew twas dark, that none coud take a view then, 
And all did seem to be voyd of any feare ; 
\ 40 

Then every one uncas'd themselves, both smock and all 

And each expected first who should begin ; 

And that they might stay but an houre, they told the 

Clock and all ; 
Then all in a Te-he-ing vaine did enter in. 

But now comes out the Tale I meant to tell ye, 
For a Crew of Jovial Lads were there before. 
And finding there some viands for their belly, 
They eas'd em then poor hearts of all their store ; 
Then every Lad sate down upon the Grasse there, 
And whisper'd thanks to th' Girls for all their good 


In which they drank a health to every Lass there, 
That then were washing and rinsing without any fear. 

And when they had pleas'd (and fill'd) their bellies and 

pallats too, 

They back did come unto the foresaid place, 
And took away their Smocks, and both their Wallets 

We brought their good Bubb, and left them in pittifull 


For presently they all came out to th' larder there, 
That it put 'em unto their shifts their Smocks to find ; 
I think, says one, my shift is a little farder there, 
I, I, sayes another, for yours did lye by mine. 

At last, says one, the Divel a smock is here at all. 
The Devil, a bit of bread, or drop of drink, 
They've took every morsel of our good cheare and all, 
And nothing but Gowns and Petticoats left, as I think, 


At last, says one, if they'd give us our Smocks agen, 
And likewise part of what we hither brought, 
We shall be much obliegd, and think 'em Gentlemen, 
And by this foolish example be better taught. 

Although in the River they were as merry as crickets 


Twixt laughing and fretting their state they did con- 
dole ; 
And then came one of the Lads from out of the thickets 

And told 'em hee'd bring 'em their smocks, and what 

was stole ; 
They only with Petticoats on, like Jipsies were clad in 

He brought 'em their Smocks, and what he had 

promis'd before ; 

They fell to eat, and drink as if they'd been mad there, 
And glad they were all, they'd got so much of their 


And when they all had made a good repast there, 
They put on their cloths, and all resolv'd to be gone ; 
Then out comes all the ladds in very great hast there, 
And every one to the other then was known ; 
The girles did then conjure the ladds that were there, 
To what had past their lipps shoud still be seald, 
Nay more than that they made 'em all to swear there, 
To which they did, that nothing should be reveald. 

Then each at other did make a pass at kissing then, 
And round it went to e /ery one level coile, 
But thinking that at home they might be missing then, 
And fear'd that they had stay'd too great a while, 


Then hand in hand they alltogether marcht away. 
And every lad convey'd his Mistris home, 
Agen they kist, then every Lass her man did pray, 
That what had past, no more of that but Mum. 

The Bathing of the Girles (Westminster Drollery, //, 



The skill and art of swimming is also very requisite in 
every Noble and Gentleman, especially if he looketh for 
employment in the warres, for hereby (besides the pre- 
serving of his owne life upon infinite occasions), he may 
many wayes annoy his enemy. Horatius Codes onely by 
the benefit of swimming saved his countrey, for when 
himselfe alone had long defended and made good the 
Bridge over Tyber against the Hetruscans, the Romanes 
brake it downe behind him, wherewith, in his Armour 
he cast himselfe into the River and . . . swam with 
safetie into the Citie, which rewarded him with a Statue 
erected in the Market place. . . . 

And as resolute was that attempt ... of Gerrard and 
Harvey, two Gentlemen of our own Nation, who in 
eightie eight in the fight at Sea, swam in the night time, 
and pierced with Awgers, or such like instruments, the 
sides of the Spanish Galleons, and returned back safe to 
the Fleete. 


The Compleat Gentleman (1622) 


Julius Caesar being hard put to it neere Alexandria leaped 
into the sea and laying some bookes on his head made shift 
to swimme a good way with one hand. 


Notes from Commonplace Books (undated) 


The four and twentieth Day of May, 

of all times in the Year, 
A Virgin Lady bright and gay, 

did privately appear 
Close by the River side, which she 

did single out the rather, 
Cause she was sure, it was secure, 

and had intent to Bathe her. 

With glittering Glance, her jealous Eyes, 

did slyly look about, 
To see if any lurking Spies, 

were hid to find her out : 
And being well resolv'd that none 

could view her Nakedness ; 
She puts her Robes off, one by one, 

and doth her self undress. . . . 

Into a fluent stream she leapt, 
which look'd like Liquid Glass ; 

The Fishes from all quarters crept, 
to see what Angel 'twas ; 


She did so like a Vision look, 

or Fancy in a Dream, 
'Twas thought the Sun the Sky forsook ; 

and dropt into the stream. . . . 

Thus was the Rivers Diamond head, 

with Pearls and Saphir crown'd : 
Her Legs did shove, her Arms did move, 

her Body did rebound : 
She then did quaff the Juice of Joy, 

fair Venus Queen of Love 
With Mars did never in more ways, 

of melting motion move ! . . . 


The Swimming Lady : . . . Being a true Relation of a 
Coy Lady . . . Swimming in a River near Oxford 

(late i yth c.) 


When I who was Amans, which we translate 

A Lover, stole out of my Fathers Gate, 

And having put off all my cloathes strait way, 

My armes through the moyst sea did cut their way, 

The Moone did yeeld a glimmering light to me, 

Which all the way did beare me company. 

I looking on her said, Some favour have 

Towards me, and thinke upon the Latmain Cave. 

O favour me ! for thy Endymions sake, 

Prosper this stollen journey which I take. . . . 

When I these words, or else the like had said, 
My passage through the sea by night I made. 


The Moones bright beames were in the water scene. 

And 'twas as light as if it day had beene. 

No noise or voyce unto my eares did come. 

But the murmure of the water when I swum. 

Only the Alcyons soe lov'd Coeyds sake 

Seemed by night a sweet complaint to make. 

But when my armes to grow tir'd did begin, 

Unto the top of the waves I did spring 

But when I saw thy torch, O then quoth I, 

Where that fire blazeth, my faire love doth lye. 

For that same shore, said I, doth her containe 

Who is my goddesse, my fire, and my flame. 

These words to my armes did such strength restore, 

Me thought the Sea grew calmer than before. 

The coldnesse of the waves I seem'd to scorne, 

For love did keepe my amorous heart still warme. 

The neerer I came to the shoare, I find 

The greater courage and more strength of mind. 

But when I could by thee discerned be 

Thou gav'st me courage by looking on me. 

Then to please thee, my Mistresse, I begin 

To spread my armes abroad, and strongly swim. 

Thy Nurse from leaping downe could scarce stay 

thee ; 

This without flattery I did also see, 
And though she did restraine thee, thou didst come 
Downe to the shoare, and to the waves didst run, 
And to imbrace and kiss me didst begin : 
The gods to get such kisses sure would swim. 


Heroides XVIII (c. 15 B.C.) 
Trans. Wye Saltonstall (1639) 



I shall never forget my surprise and delight on first behold- 
ing the bottom of the sea. The water within the reef was 
as calm as a pond ; and as there was no wind, it was quite 
clear, from the surface to the bottom, so that we could see 
down easily even at a depth of twenty or thirty yards. 
When Jack and I dived in shallower water, we expected to 
have found sand and stones, instead of which we found 
ourselves in what appeared really to be an enchanted 
garden. The whole of the bottom of the lagoon, as we 
called the calm water within the reef, was covered with 
coral of every shape, size and hue. Some portions were 
formed like large mushrooms ; others appeared like the 
brain of a man, having stalks or necks attached to them ; 
but the most common kind was a species of branching 
coral, and some portions were of a lovely pale pink colour, 
others pure white. Among this there grew large quantities 
of sea- weed of the richest hues imaginable, and of the most 
graceful forms ; while innumerable fishes blue, red, 
yellow, green and striped sported in and out among the 
flower-beds of this submarine garden, and did not appear to 
be at all afraid of our approaching them. . . . When Jack 
reached the bottom, he grasped the coral stems, and crept 
along on his hands and knees, peeping under the sea-weed 
and among the rocks. I observed him pick up one or two 
oysters ... so I also gathered a few. 

The Coral Island (1860) 



Diana and her Darlings dear, 

went walking on a day, 
Throughout the Woods and Waters clear, 

for their disports and play ; 
The leaves aloft were very green 

and pleasant to be hold ; 
These Nymps then walkt the trees between 

under the shadows cold. 
So long, at last they found a place 

of Springs and Waters clear, 
A fairer Bath there never was 

found out this thousand year : 
Wherein Diana., daintily, 

herself began to bathe, 
And all her Virgins fair and pure, 

themselves do wash and lave : 
And as the Nymps in water stood, 

Acteon passed by, 
As he came running thro the Wood, 

on them he cast his Eye, . . . 
You hunters all, that range the Woods, 

although you rise up rath. 
Beware you come not nigh the Flood, 

were Virgins use to bathe : 
For if Diana you espy, 

among her Darlings dear, 
Your former Shape she will disguise 

and make you horns to wear. 

And so do I conclude my Song, 

having nothing to alledge : 

If Acteon had Right or Wrong, 

let all true Virgins judge. 


An excellent New Sonnet, Shewing how the Goddess 
Diana Transformed Acteon into the Shape of a Hart 

(late I yth c.) 


Betwixt the well and the harbour, the bathing machines 
are ranged along the beach, with all their proper utensils 
and attendants you have never seen one of these 
machines. Imagine to yourself a small, snug, wooden 
chamber, fixed upon a wheel-carriage, having a door at 
each end, and on each side a little window above, a bench 
below, the bather, ascending into this apartment by 
wooden steps, shuts himself in, and begins to undress, 
while the attendant yokes a horse to the end next the sea, 
and draws the carriage forwards, till the surface of the 
water is on a level with the floor of the dressing-room. , . . 
The person within being stripped, opens the door to the 
seaward, where he finds the guide ready, and plunges head- 
long in the water After having bathed, he re-ascends into 
the apartment . . . and puts on his clothes at his leasure, 
while the carriage is drawn back again upon the dry land ; 
. . . The guides who attend to the ladies in the water, are 
of their own sex, and they and the female bathers have 
a dress of flannel for the sea ; nay, they are provided with 
other conveniences for the support of decorum. A certain 


number of the machines are fitted with tilts, that project 
from the seaward ends of them, so as to screen the bathers 
from the view of all persons whatsoever . . . For my part, 
I love swimming as an exercise, and can enjoy it at all 
times of the tide, without the formality of an apparatus 
You and I have often plunged together into the Isis ; 
but the sea is a much more noble bath, for health as well 
as pleasure. You cannot conceive what a flow of spirits it 
gives, and how it braces every sinew of the human frame. 
Were I to enumerate half the diseases which are every day 
cured by sea-bathing, you might justly say you had 
received a treatise, instead of a letter. 


Humphrey Clinker (1771) 


As I was troubled with fits, she advised me to bathe in 
the loff, which was holy water ; and so I went in the morn- 
ing to a private place along with the housemaid, and we 
bathed in our birth-day soot, after the fashion of the 
country ; and behold, whilst we dabbled in the loff. Sir 
George Coon started up with a gun ; but we clapt our 
hands to our faces, and passed by him to the place where 
we had left our smocks A civil gentleman would have 
turned his head another way. My comfit is, he new not 
which was which, and, as the saying is, All cats in the 
dark are grey. 



The King bathes, and with great success ; a machine 
follows the Royal one into the sea, filled with fiddlers, 
who play " God Save the King," as His Majesty takes 

his P lun S C ! FANNY BURNEY 

Diary (July 8, 1789) 


In the middle of the day, I bathe in a pool or fountain 
formed in the middle of the forests by a torrent . It is sur- 
rounded on all sides by precipitous rocks, and the waterfall 
of the stream which forms it falls into it on one side with 
perpetual dashing. Close to it, on the top of the rocks, are 
alders, and above, the great chestnut trees, whose long and 
pointed leaves pierce the deep blue sky in strong relief. 
The water of this pool ... is as transparent as the air, so 
that the stones and sand at the bottom seem, as it were, 
trembling in the light of noonday. It is exceedingly cold 
also. My custom is to undress and sit on the rocks, read- 
ing Herodotus, until the perspiration has subsided, and 
then to leap from the edge of the rock into this fountain 
a practice in the hot weather exceedingly refreshing. 
This torrent is composed, as it were, of a succession of 
pools and waterfalls, up which I sometimes amuse myself 
by climbing when I bathe, and receiving the spray all over 
my body, whilst I clamber up the moist crags with 


Letter to T. L. Peacock (1818) 



I heard the Ruffian-Shepherd rudely blow, 
Where, in a hollow cave, I sate below ; 
On Ads 9 bosom I my Head reclin'd : 
And still preserve the Poem in my Mind. 

Oh, lovely Galatea, whiter far 
Than falling Snows, and rising Lilies are ; 
More flowery than the Meads, as Crystal bright : 
Erect as Alders, and of equal Height : 
More wanton than a Kid, more sleek thy Skin, 
Than Orient Shells, that on the Shore are seen. 
Than Apples fairer, when the Boughs they lade ; 
Pleasing, as Winter Suns, or Summer Shade : 
More grateful to the Sight, than goodly Plains ; 
And softer to the Touch, than Down of Swans ; 
Or Curds new-turn'd ; and sweeter to the Taste 
Than swelling Grapes, that to the Vintage haste : 
More clear than Ice, or running Streams, that stray 
Through Garden Plots, but ah ! more swift than they. 

Yet, Galatea, harder to be broke 
Than Bullocks, unreclaim'd, to bear the Yoke, 
And far more stubborn, than the knotted Oak : 

Like sliding Streams, impossible to hold ; 
Like them, fallacious, like their Fountains, cold, 
More warping, than the Willow, to decline 
My warm Embrace, more brittle than the Vine ; 
Immoveable, and fixt in thy Disdain : 
Rough as these Rocks, and of a harder Grain. 
More violent than is the rising Flood : 
And the prais'd Peacock is not half so proud. 
Fierce as the Fire, and sharp, as Thistles are, 
And more outragious than a Mother-bear : 
Deaf as the Billows, to the Vows I make ; 
And more revengeful than a trodden Snake. 
In Swiftness than the flying Hind, 
Or driven Tempests, or the driving Wind. 
All other Faults with Patience I can bear ; 
But swiftness is the Vice I only fear. 


Ads, Polyphemus and Galatea (1700) 
From Ovid, Aietamorphoses (c. 5 B.C.) 


Byron says that the number of anonymous amatory 
letters and portraits he has received, and all from English 
ladies, would fill a large volume. He says he has never 
noticed any of them ; but it is evident he recurs to them 
with complacency. 


Journal of Conversations with Lord Byron 



Mr. John Herne of Exeter, the senior proctor for the last 
year, made a speech for his farewell, wherein he flattered 
the undergraduates, stiling them " florentissimi juvenes," 
men that are examples rather than to be made examples. 
Soe Shepen also flattered them which made them the 
ruder and debaucht. So impudent they were at this time 
that they kicked a barrell or a kidderkin that lay in the 
street up Kat Street and to Wadham College gate even 
with the proctors. 


Life and Times (1665) 


He was mightily importuned to goe into France and Italic. 
Foraigners came much to see him, and much admired 
him, and offered him great preferments, to come over to 
them, and the only inducement of severall foreigners that 
came over into England, was chiefly to see O. Protector 
and Mr. J. Milton, and would see the house and chamber 
wher he was borne : he was much more admired abrode 
then at home. 


Brief Lives : John Milton (c. 1680) 



March 5, 1668. I began our defence most acceptably and 
smoothly, and continued at it without any hesitation or 
loss, but with full scope, and all my reason free about me, 
as if it had been at my own table ... till past three in the 
afternoon ; and so ended, without any interruption from 
the Speaker. . . . And all the world that was within hearing 
did congratulate me, and cry up my speech as the best 
thing they ever heard ; and my Fellow Officers overjoyed 
in it ... and everybody says I have got the most honour 
that any could have had the opportunity of getting. 
March 6. Up betimes, and ... to Sir W. Coventry's 
chamber ; where the first word he said to me was, " Good- 
morrow, Mr Pepys, that must be Speaker of the Parlia- 
ment-house : " and did protest I had got honour for ever 
in Parliament. He said that his brother, that sat by him, 
admires me ; and another gentleman said that I could not 
get less than 1,000 a year if I would put on a gown and 
plead at the Chancery-bar ; but, what pleased me most, 
he tells me that the Sollicitor-Generall did protest that 
he thought I spoke the best of any man in England. ... I 
to the Duke of York's lodgings . . . and, as soon as he saw 
me, he told me, with great satisfaction that I had con- 
verted a great many yesterday, and did, with great praise 
of me, go on the discourse with me. And, by and by, over- 
taking the King, the King and Duke of York come to me 
both ; and he said, " Mr Pepys, I am very glad of your suc- 
cess yesterday ; " and fell to talk of my well speaking, and 
many of the Lords there. My Lord Barkeley did cry me 
up for what they had heard of it ; and others, Parliament- 
men there, about the King, did say that they never heard 


such a speech in their lives delivered in that manner. 
Progers, of the Bedchamber, swore to me ... that he did 
tell the King that he thought I might teach the Solicitor- 
General. Everybody that saw me almost come to me, as 
Joseph Williamson and others, with such eulogy as cannot 
be expressed. From thence I went to Westminster Hall, 
where I met Mr G. Montagu, who come to me and kissed 
me, and told me that he had often heretofore kissed my 
hands, but now he would kiss my lips : protesting that I 
was another Cicero, and said all the world said the same of 
me. ... Every creature I met there of the Parliament, or 
that knew anything of the Parliament's actings, did salute 
me with this honour : . . . Mr Sands, who swore he would 
go twenty mile, at any time, to hear the like again, and 
that he never saw so many sit four hours together to hear 
any man in his life. . . . Mr Chichly, Sir John Duncomb, 
and everybody do say that the kingdom will ring of my 
abilities, and that I have done myself right for my whole 
life : and so Captain Cooke, and others of my friends, 
say that no man had ever such an opportunity of making 
his abilities known ; . . . Mr Lieutenant of the Tower did 
tell me that Mr Vaughan did protest to him . . , that he 
had sat twenty-six years in Parliament and never heard 
such a speech there before : for which the Lord God 
make me thankful ! and that I may make use of it not to 
pride and vain-glory, but that, now I have this esteem, I 
may do nothing that may lessen it ! I spent the morning 
thus walking in the Hall, being complimented by every- 
body with admiration : . . . and after dinner with Sir W. 
Pen, who come to my house to call me, to White Hall, to 
wait on the Duke of York, where he again and all the com- 
pany magnified me, and several in the Gallery : among 
others my Lord Gerard, who never knew me before or 


spoke to me, desires his being better acquainted with me ; 
and that, at table where he was, he never heard so much 
said of any man as of me, in his whole life. 
March 8. (Lord's Day). Sir J. Robinson, Lieutenant of 
the Tower, did call me with his coach, and carried me to 
White Hall, where met with very many people still that 
did congratulate my speech the other day in the House 
of Commons, and I find the world almost rings of it. 


Diary (March, 1668) 


Who would believe the proud Person I am going to speak 
of, is a Cobler upon Ludgate-Hill ? This Artist being 
naturally a Lover of Respect, and considering that no Man 
living will give it him, has contrived the Figure of a Beau 
in Wood, who stands before him in a bending Posture, 
with his Hat under his Left Arm, and his Right Hand 
extended in such a Manner as to hold a Thread, a Piece 
of Wax, or an Awl, according to the particular Service in 
which his Master thinks fit to employ him. When I saw 
him, he held a Candle in this obsequious Posture. I was 
very well pleased with the Cobler's Invention, that had 
so ingeniously contrived an Inferior, and stood a little 
while contemplating this inverted Idolatry, wherein the 
Image did Homage to the Man. 


Lucubrations of Isaac Bickcrstaff 
Tatler, No. 127 (1709) 



If there was an Occasion for the Experiment, I would not 
question to make a proud Man a Lunatick in three Weeks 
Time, provided I had it in my Power to ripen his Phrensy 
with proper Applications. . . . When I was in France (the 
Region of Complaisance and Vanity) I have often observ- 
ed, That a great Man who has entered a Levy of Flatterers 
humble and temperate, has grown so insensibly heated by 
the Court which was paid him on all sides, that he has 
been quite distracted before he could get into his Coach. 



A foreign minister of no very high talents, who had been 
in his company for a considerable time quite overlooked, 
happened luckily to mention that he had read some of his 
Rambler in Italian, and admired it much. This pleased him 
greatly ; . . . and finding that this minister gave such a 
proof of his taste, he was all attention to him, and on the 
first remark which he made, however simple, exclaimed, 
" The Ambassador says well ; his Excellency observes " 
And then he expanded and enriched the little that had 
been said in so strong a manner that it appeared something 
of consequence. This was exceedingly entertaining to the 
company who were present. ..." The Ambassador says 
well" became a laughable term of applause, when no 
mighty matter had been expressed. 


Life of Johnson (1791) 



BOSWELL : cc No quality will get a man more friends than a 
disposition to admire the qualities of others. I do not mean 
flattery, but a sincere admiration." JOHNSON : cc Nay, Sir, 
flattery pleases very generally. In the first place, the 
flatterer may think what he says to be true : but in the 
second place, whether he thinks so or not, he certainly 
thinks those whom he flatters of consequence enough to 
be flattered." 




I am in that city which the Thames washes with its flowing 
waters ; I am detained, and not unwillingly, in my delight- 
ful home. I have now no anxiety to revisit the reedy Cam, 
nor does desire for my rooms there, which have been for 
some time denied me, trouble me. Bare fields, that refuse 
pleasant shade, don't please me ; how ill that place suits 
the disciples of Phoebus ! I don't care to put up continu- 
ally with the threats of a harsh master, and the other 


things that my nature won't endure. If it be exile to be in 
one's father's home, and, free from worries, to pursue 
the pleasures of leisure, then I don't refuse the name, nor 
yet the state, of exile ; I enjoy its conditions cheerfully. 
Would that the lamenting poet who was exiled in Tomi 
had never endured anything worse. . . . For here I can 
give free time to the gentle Muses, and books, which are 
my very life, seize me wholly. From these, when I am 
tired, the spectacle of the rounded theatre summons me, 
and the garrulous stage calls me to applause, whether it be 
the sagacious old man who is on the boards, or the prodi- 
gal heir, or the suitor, or the soldier with his helmet laid 
aside, or whether the advocate, enriched by a ten-years' 
law-suit, thunders out his barbarous words to an ignorant 
court, or (as often) the cunning servant is aiding the lover 
son, and tricking the nose of the hard father Or furious 
Tragedy shakes her bloody sceptre, and rolls her eyes, with 
wild locks, and it is painful to look, yet I look, and in 
looking find pleasure while it pains me, for sometimes 
there is sweet bitterness in tears. . . . 

But I do not always hide indoors, nor in the city, nor 
does the spring pass by me unused. I go also to a grove 
near by, planted with elms, and to the noble shade of a 
suburb. Here very often you may see troops of virgins go 
by, stars breathing forth enticing flames. Ah, how often 
have I been astounded by some marvellous figure, which 
might even rejuvenate the old age of Jupiter ! Ah, how 
often have I seen eyes that surpassed jewels and whatever 
stars revolve about either pole ; and necks more ivory than 
the arms of twice-living Pelops, or than the way which 
flows with pure nectar ; and extraordinary beauty of fore- 
head, and shaking locks, the golden nets which treacher- 
ous Love spreads. And seductive cheeks, compared with 


which the hyacinth's purple and the blush of your own 
flower. Adonis, seem contemptible. Yield, you often 
praised heroines of old, and whatever mistress ever 
captured wandering Jove ! Yield, you Persian girls with 
turbaned brows, and you who dwell in Susa and Memno- 
nian Nineveh ! And you too, nymphs of Greece, lower 
your fasces, and you, young matrons of Troy and of 
Rome. . . . The first glory is due to British maidens ; 
enough for you, foreign women, to follow them. You, 
London, the city built by Trojan colonists, seen far and 
wide by your towered head, you enclose (too happy !) 
within your walls whatever beauty the pendulous earth 
holds. The stars that sparkle over you in the clear sky, 
the ministering host of Endymion's goddess, are not so 
many as the girls who, conspicuous in person and gold, 
shine in a troop through your streets. . . . 

But I, while the indulgence of the blind boy yet allows 
it, am preparing to leave these happy walls as soon as 
possible, and, using the help of the divine moly, to flee 
far from the ignominy of the treacherous Circe. Besides, 
it is fixed that I go back to the reedy marshes of the Cam, 
and to the noise of the raucous school again. 


Elegia Prima ad Carolum Diodatum (1626) 
(Trans, from Latin Elegiacs) 




Famous rings of bells in Oxfordshire called the Crosse-ring 

He travelleth to Tames ; where passing by those Townes 
Of that rich Country neere, whereas the mirthful clownes 
With Taber and the pipe, on holydayes doe use, 
Upon the May-pole Greene, to trample out their shooes : 
And having in his eares the deepe and solemne rings 
Which sound him all the way, unto the learned Springs. 


Poly-Olbion. Song XV (1613) 


Bee dum ye infant chimes, thump not the mettle 
That nere outrung a tinker and his kettle. 
Cease all your petty larums, for to day 
Is yonge Tom's resurrection from the clay. 
And know when Tom shal ring his loudest knells 
The big'st of you'll be thought but Dinner Bells. 


Rejoyce with Christ Church look higher Oseney, 
Of Gyante Bells the famous treasury ; 
The base vast thunderinge Clocke of Westminster, 
Grave Tom of Linconne Hugh Excester 
Are but Tom's eldest Brothers, and perchance 
Hee may cal cozen with the bell of Ffrance. 


Oxford Great Tom (1612) 

Oh the bonny Christchurch Bells, 

i> 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ; 
They sound so wond'rous great 

So woundy sweet, 

And they trowl so merrily, merrily, 
Oh ! the first and second Bell, 
That every day at Four and Ten, 
Cry, Come, come, come, come, come to Pray'rs ; 
And the Virger troops before the Dean. 
Tinkle, tinkle, ting, goes the small Bell at Nine, 
To call the Beerers home ; 
But the Dev'l a man ; 
Will leave his Can, 
'Till he hears the mighty Tom. 


Christchurch Bells (1673) 


What Musick is there that compar'd may be 
To well-tun'd Bells enchanting melody ! 


Tintinnalogia (Edition 1671) 



They diligently seek out the caves and dens of the Tigers 
where their young ones are lodged, and then upon some 
swift horses they take and carry them away : when the 
female Tiger returneth and findeth her den empty, in rage 
she followeth after them by the foot, whom she quickly 
overtaketh, by reason of her celerity. . . . For this occasion, 
the Hunters do devise certain round spheres of glass, 
wherein they picture the young ones very apparent to be 
seen by the dam ; one of these they cast down before her 
at her approach ; she looking upon it is deluded, and 
thinketh that her young ones are enclosed therein, and the 
rather, because through the roundness thereof it is apt 
to rowl and stir at every touch, this she driveth along back- 
wards to her den, and there breaketh it with her feet and 
nails, and so, seeing she that she is deceived, returneth 
back again after the Hunters for her true Whelps ; 
whilest they in the mean season are safely harbored in 
some house, or else gone on some shipboard. 


History of Four- Footed Beasts and Serpents (1607) 


It is said that Unicorns above all other creatures do rever- 
ence Virgins and young Maids, and that many times at the 
sight of them they grow tame, and come and sleep beside 
them, for there is in their nature a certain savour, where- 
withal the Unicorns are allured and delighted : for which 
occasion the Indian and Ethiopian hunters use this 
stratagem to take the beast. They take a goodly strong and 
beautiful young man, whom they dress in the apparel of a 
woman, besetting him with divers odoriferous flowers and 

The man so adorned, they set in the Mountains or 
Woods where the Unicorn hunteth, so as the winde may 
carry the savour to the beast, and in the mean season the 
other Hunters hide themselves : the Unicorn deceived 
with the outward shape of a woman and sweet smells, 
cometh unto the young man without fear, and so suffereth 
his head to be covered and wrapped within his large 
sleeves, never stirring but lying still and asleep, as in his 
most acceptable repose. Then when the Hunters by the sign 
of the young man perceive him fast and secure, they come- 
upon him, and by force cut off his horn, and send him 
away alive : but concerning this opinion we have no elder 
authority than Tzetzes,* who did not live above five 
hundred years ago, and therefore I leave the Reader to the 
freedom of his own judgment, to believe or refuse this 
relation ; neither was it fit that I should omit it, seeing 
that all Writers since the time of Tzetzes do most con- 
stantly believe it. 


* Topsell was, of course, wrong here j unicorns had been snared 
by virgins at least since the 2nd century A.D. 

CP 6 5 


Ofte Bees gather honie in hollowe trees, and the Beare 
findeth honie by smell, and goeth up to the place that the 
honie is in, and maketh a waye into the Tree with his 
clawes, and draweth out the honie and eateth it, and 
commeth ofte by custome unto such a place, when he is 
an hungred : And the Hunter taketh heed thereof . . . and 
hangeth craftely a right heavie hammer or wedge before 
the open way to the honie, then the Bear commeth and is 
an hungred, and the logge that hangeth ther on high 
letteth him : and he putteth awaye the wedge with vio- 
lence, but after the removing, the wedge falleth againe and 
hitteth him on the eare, and he hath indignation thereof, 
and putteth away the wedge fiercely, and then the wedge 
falleth and smiteth him harder than it did before ; and he 
striveth so long with the wedge, untill his feeble head 
doth fayl by oft smiting of the wedge, and then he falleth 
downe . . . and slayeth himselfe in that wise. Theophrastus 
telleth this manner Hunting of Beares, and learned it of 
the Hunters in the country of Germanie. 


De Proprietatibus Rerum (c. 1240) 
Trans. John Trevisa (1398, modernised 1582) 


Now the manner how the Indians kill the Mountain Drag- 
ons is thus : they take a garment of Scarlet^ and picture 
upon it a charm in golden letters, this they lay upon the 


mouth of the Dragon's den, for with the red colour and 
the gold, the eyes of the Dragon are overcome, and he 
falleth asleep, the Indians in the mean season watching, 
and muttering secretly words of Incantation ; when they 
perceive he is fast asleep, suddenly they strike off his neck 
with an Ax, and so take out the balls of his eyes, wherein 
are lodged those rare and precious stones which contain in 
them vertues unutterable, as hath been evidently proved 
by one of them, that was included in the Ring of Gyges. . . . 
As for the flesh, it is of a vitrial or glassie colour, and the 
Ethiopians do eat it very greedily, for they say it hath in it 
a refrigerative power. And there be some which by certain 
inchanting verses do tame Dragons, and rideth upon their 
necks, as a man would ride upon a Horse, guiding and 
governing them with a bridle. 


History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents (1607) 


When they be taken, they are made tame and mild with 
Barley : and a cave or ditche is made under the earth, as it 
were a pitfall in the elephaunt's waye, and unawares he fall- 
eth therein. And then one of the hunters commeth to him 
and beateth and smite th him, and pricketh him full sore. 
And then another hunter cometh and smiteth the first hun- 
ter and doth him away, and defendeth the elephaunt, and 
giveth him Barley to eate, and when he hath eaten thrice or 
foure times, then he loveth him that defendeth him, and 
is afterward milde and obedient to him. . . . Elephants lie 
never downe in sleeping ; but when they be wearye they 


leane to a tree and so rest somewhat. And men lye in a waite 
to aspy their resting places prively, for to cut the tree in 
the other side : and the Elephaunt commeth and is not ware 
of the fraud, and leaneth to the tree and breaketh it with 
the weight of his body, and falleth do wne with the breaking, 
and lieth there. 


De Proprietatibus Rerum (c. 1240) 

Trans. John Trevisa (1398, modernised 1582) 


All the kinde of these Apes approch neerest of all beasts to 
the resemblance of a mans shape, but they differ one from 
another in the taile. Marvellous crafty and subtill they be 
to beguile themselves : for by report, as they see hunters 
doe before them, they will imitate them in every point, 
even to besmear themselves with glew and birdlime, and 
shoo their feet between gins and snares, and by that means 
are caught. 


Natural History (c. 77) 
Trans. Philemon Holland (1601) 


It hath been seldom seen that Crocodiles were taken, yet it 
is said that men hunt them in the waters, for Pliny saith, 
that there is an assured pers wasion, that with the gal and fat 
of a Water-adder, men are wonderfully holpen, and as it 
were armed against Crocodiles, and by it enabled to take and 


destroy them, especially when they carry also about them 
the herb Potamegeton. There is also akinde of thorny wilde 
Bean growing in Egypt, which hath many sharp prickles 
upon the stalks, this is a great terrour to the Crocodile, 
for he is in great dread of his eyes, which are very tender 
and easie to be wounded. Therefore he avoideth their 
sight, being more unwilling to adventure upon a man that 
beareth them, or one of them, than he is to adventure 
upon a man in compleat Armour, and therefore all the 
people plant great store of these, and also bear them in 
their hands when they travail. . . . 

Peter Martyr hath also other means of taking Crocodiles. 
Their nature is, that when they goe to the land to forrage 
and seek after a prey, they cannot return back again but by 
the same footsteps of their own which they left imprinted 
in the sand : wherefrom, when the Countrey people 
perceive their footsteps, instantly with all the hast they 
can make, they come with spades and mattocks and make a 
great ditch, and with boughs cover the same, so as the 
Serpent may not espy it, and upon the boughs they also 
again lay sand to avoid all occasion of deceit and suspicion 
of fraud at his return : then when all things are thus 
prepared, they hunt the Crocodile by the foot untill they 
findehim, then with noises of bells, pans, kettels, and such 
like things, they terrific and make him return as fast as fear 
can make him run towards the waters again, and they fol- 
low him as near as they can, until he falleth into the ditch, 
where they all come about him and kill him . . . and so 
being slain, they carry him to the great City Cair, where 
for their reward they receive ten pieces of gold. . . . 

We do read that Crocodiles have been taken and brought 
alive to Rome. The first that ever brought them thither 
was Marcus Scaurus, who in the games of his aedility, 


brought five forth and shewed them to the people in a 
great pond of water (which he had provided only for that 
time) and afterward Heliogabalus and Antoninus Pius. 


History of Four-footed Beasts and Serpents (1607) 


There be found Tortoises in the Indian sea so great, that 
one only shel of them is sufficient for the roofe of a 
dwelling house. And among the Islands, principally in the 
red sea, they use Tortoise shells ordinarily for boats and 
wherries upon the water. 

Many waies the fisher-men have to catch them ; but 
especially in this manner : They use in the mornings, when 
the weather is calm and still, to flote aloft upon the water, 
with their backs to be seen all over : and then they take such 
pleasure in breathing freely and at libertie, that they forget 
themselves altogether : insomuch as their shell in this 
time is so hardened and baked with the sun, that when they 
would they cannot dive and sinke under the water againe, 
but are forced against their wills to flote above, and by that 
meanes are exposed as a prey unto the fishermen. Some 
say that they go forth in the night to land for to feed, 
where, with eating greedily, they be wearie ; so that in the 
morning, when they are returned again, they fall soon 
asleep above the water, and keepe such a snorting and 
routing in their sleepe, that they bewray where they be, 
and so are easily taken : and yet there must be three men 
about every one of them : and when they have sworn unto 
the Tortoise, two of them turne him upon his backe, the 


third casts a cord or halter about him, as hee lyeth with 
his belly upward and then is he haled by many more 
together, to the land. PLINY THE LDER 

Natural History (c. 77) 
Trans. Philemon Holland (1601) 


It is a question whether the Cockatrice dye by the sight of 
himself: some have affirmed so much, but I dare not 
subscribe thereunto, because in reason it is unpossible 
that any thing should hurt it self, that hurteth not another 
of his own kinde ; yet if in the secret of nature GOD have 
ordained such a thing, I will not strive against them that 
can shew it. 

... I cannot without laughing remember the old Wives 
tales of the Vulgar Cockatrices that have been in England, 
for I have oftentimes heard it related confidently, that 
once our Nation was full of Cockatrices, and that a certain 
man did destroy them by going up and down in Glasse, 
whereby their own shapes were reflected upon their own 
faces, and so they dyed. EDWARD TOPSELL 

History of Four-footed Beasts and Serpents (1607) 


Yet said Apollonius, there is a remedy to quail these 
wanton leaping beasts, which men say Midas used (for 
Midas was of kindred to Satyres, as appeared by his ears) . 


This Midas heard his mother say that Satyres loved to be 
drunk with wine and then sleep soundly, and after that 
be so moderate, mild and gentle, that a man would think 
they had lost their first nature. 

Whereupon he put wine into a fountain neer the high- 
way, whereof when the Satyre had tasted he waxed meek 
suddenly, and was overcome. 


Natural History (c. 77) 
Trans. Philemon Holland (1601) 


In Languedoc within the province of Narbon . . . there is a 
standing poole or dead water called Laterra, wherein men 
and Dolphins together, use to fish : for at one certain time 
of the yeare, an infinite number of fishes called Mullets, 
taking the vantage of the tide when the water doth ebbe at 
certain narrow weares and passages, with great force break 
forth of the said poole into the sea : and by reason of that 
violence no nets can be set and pitched against them strong 
enough to abide and beare their huge weight and the streame 
of the water together, if so be men were not cunning and 
craftie to wait and espie their time to lay for them and to 
entrap them. . . . The fisher men being ware thereof , and all 
the people besides (for the multitude knowing when fish- 
ing-time is come, run thither, and the rather for to see the 
pleasant sport) crie as lowd as ever they can to the Dol- 
phins for aid, and call Simo, Simo, to help to make an end 
of this their game and pastime of fishing. The Dolphins 
soon get the eare of their crie, and know what they would 


have, and the better if the North- winds blow and carrie the 
sound unto them. . . . The Dolphins resort thither flock- 
meale, sooner than a man would thinke, for to assist them 
in their fishing. And a wondrous pleasant sight it is to 
behold the squadrons as it were of those Dolphins, how 
quickly they take their places and be arranged in battell 
array even against the very mouth of the said poole, where 
the Mullets use to shoote into the sea : to sec (I say) how 
from the sea they oppose themselves and fight against them, 
and drive the Mullets (once affrighted and skared) upon 
the shelves. Then come the fishers and beset them with net 
and toile . . . howbeit for all that the Mullets are so quick 
and nimble, that a number of them whip over, get away, 
and escape the nets. But the Dolphins then are readie to 
receive them. . . . And so the conflict being ended, and all 
the fishing sport done . . . the Dolphins retire not presently 
into the deepe againe, but stay until the morrow, as if they 
knew very well that they had so carried themselves, as 
that they deserved a better reward than one daies refection 
and victuals : and therefore contented they are not and satis- 
fied, unlesse to their fish they have some sops and crums of 
bread given them soaked in wine, and that their bellies 
full. Mutianus makes mention of the semblable manner of 
fishing in the gulfe of lassos ; but herein is the difference, 
for that the Dolphins come of their own accord without 
calling, take their part of the bootie at the fishers' hands ; 
and every boat hath a Dolphin attending upon it as a 
companion, although it be in the night season and at torch 


Natural History (c. 77) 
Trans. Philemon Holland (1601) 


The Mullets have a natural! ridiculous qualitie by them- 
selves, to be laughed at : for when they be afraid to be 
caught, they wil hide their head, and then they think they 
be sure enough, weening that all their body is likewise 
hidden. These Mullets neverthelesse are so lecherous, 
that in the season when they use to ingender, in the coasts 
of Phoenice and Languedock, if they take a milter out of 
their stews or pooles where they use to keep them, and draw 
a long string or line through the mouth and gils, and so 
tie it fast, and then put him into the sea, holding the other 
end of the line still in their hands, if they pull him again 
unto them, they shal have a number of spawners or femals 
follow him hard at taile to the bank side. Semblably, if a 
man do the same with a female in spawning time, hee 
shall have as many milters follow after her. And in this 
manner they take an infinite number of Mullets. 



The man whose vacant mind prepares him for the sport, 
The Hare- The Finder sendeth out, to seeke out nimble Wat. 


Which crosseth in the field, each furlong, every Flat, 
Till he this pretty Beast upon the Forme hath found, 
j^en viewing for the Course, which is the fairest ground, 
^he Greyhounds foorth are brought, for coursing then in 


And choycely in the Slip, OLC leading forth a brace : 
The Finder purs her up, and gives her Coursers law. 
And whilst the eager dogs upon the Start doc draw, 


Shee riseth from her seat, as though on earth she flew, 
Forc'd by some yelping Cute to give the Greyhounds view, A curre 
Which are at length let slip, when gunning out they goe, 
As in respect of them the swiftest wind were slow. 
When each man runnes his Horse, with fixed eyes, and notes 
Which Dog first turnes the Hare, which first the other when one 


COatS . . . outstr'ps 

, ~ ... ,, , , , the other in 

And turne for turne agame with equall speed they ply, the Course 
Bestirring their swift feet with strange agilitie : 


Poly-Olbion. Song XXIII (1622) 


Starrs Enamour'd with Pastimes Olympicall, 
Starrs and Planets that beautifull shone ; 
Would no longer that earthly men only shall 
Swim in pleasure, and they but look on. 

Round about horned Lucina they stormed, 
And her informed how minded they were ; 
Each God and Goddesse, to take humane bodyes, 
As Lords and Ladies> to follow the Hare. 

Chast Diana applauded the Motion, 
And pale Proserpina, set in her place, 
Lights the Welkin, and governs the Ocean, 
While she conducted her Nephewes in chace, 


And by her Example, her Father to trample 
The old and ample earth, leave the aire, 
Neptune the Water, the Wine Liber Pater., 
And Mars the slaughter, to follow the Hare. 

Light god Cupid was hors'd upon Pegasus, 
Borrow'd of Muses with kisses and prayers, 
Strong Alcides upon cloudy Caucasus., 
Mounts a Centaure that proudly him beares. 

Postillian of the skye, light heePd Mercury, 
Makes his Courser fly fleet as the aire, 
Yellow Apollo, the Kennel doth follow, 
With whoop and hollow after the hare. 

Hymen ushers the ladies ; Astraea 
The Just, took hands with Minerva the bold ; 
Ceres the brown, with bright Cytherea, 
With Thetis the wanton, Bdlona the old ; 

Shamefac't Aurora, with subtil Pandora ; 
And May with Flora, did company beare ; 
Juno was stated, too high to be mated, 
But yet she hated not hunting the hare. 

Drown 5 d Narcissus, from his Metamorphosis, 
Rais'd by Eccho, new manhood did take ; 
Snoring Somnis upstarted Cineris, 
That this thousand year was not awake. 

To see club-footed old Mulciber booted, 
And Pan promoted on Chirons Mare ; 
Proud Faunus pouted, and Aeolus shouted, 
And Momus flouted, but follow'd the Hare. 


Deep Melompus and cunning Ichnobates, 
Nape and Tigre, and Harpyre, the Skyes 
Rend wit roaring, whilst huntsman-like Hercules 
Winds the plentifull home to their crycs, 

Till with varieties,, to solace their Pieties., 

The weary Deities repos'd them where 

We shepheards were seated, and there we repeated, 

What we conceited of their hunting the Hare. 

Young Amintas suppos'd the Gods came to breath 
(After some battels) themselves on the ground, 
Thirsts thought the Starrs came to dwell here beneath, 
And that hereafter the earth would go round, 

Coridon aged, with Phillis ingaged, 
Was much inraged with jealous despaire ; 
But fury vaded, and he was perswaded, 
When I thus applauded the hunting the Hare. 

Starr's but Shadows were, State w^ere but sorrow, 
Had they no Motion, nor that no delight ; 
Joyes are Jovial, delight is the marrow 
Of life, and Action the Axle of might. 

Pleasure depends upon no other friends, 
And yet freely lends to each vertue a share ; 
Only as measures, the Jewell of pleasures, 
Of pleasure the treasures of hunting the Hare. 

Three broad Bowles to the Olympical Rector, 
His Troy borne Eagle he brings on his knee, 
Jove to Phoebus carowses in Nector, 
And he to Hermes, and Hermes to me ; 


Wherewith infused, I pip'd and I mused, 

In songs unused this sport to declare ; 

And that the Rouse of Jove, round as his Sphere may 

Health to all that love hunting the hare. 


The hunting of the Gods 
(Westminster Drollery, 1672) 


I could have set them right on several subjects, Sir ; for 
instance, the gentleman who said he could not imagine 
how any pleasure could be derived from hunting, the 
reason is, because man feels his own vacuity less in action 
than when at rest. 


Life of Johnson (Croker's ed. 1831) 

He certainly rode on Mr Thrale's old hunter with a 
good firmness, and though he would follow the hounds 
fifty miles on end sometimes, would never own himself 
either tired or amused. " I have now learned," (said he) 
" by hunting, to perceive, that it is no diversion at all, nor 
ever takes a man out of himself for a moment ; the dogs 
have less sagacity than I could have prevailed on myself 
to suppose ; and the gentlemen often call to me not to ride 
over them. It is very strange, and very melancholy that 
the paucity of human pleasures should persuade us ever 
to call hunting one of them." 


Anecdotes of Dr. Johnson (1786) 


I know not love (quoth he) nor will not know it. 
Unless it be a boare, and then I chase it. ... 

Thou hadst been gone (quoth she) sweet boy ere this, 
But that thou toldest me thou wouldst hunt the boare. 
O be advis'd, thou knowest not what it is 
With Javelines poynt a churlish swine to goare, 
Whose tushes never sheath'd he whetteth still, 
Like to a mortall butcher, bent to kill. . . . 

But if thou needs will hunt, be rul'd by mee, 
Uncouple at the timorous flying Hare, 
Or at the fox, which lives by subtilty, 
Or at the Roe, which no encounter dare : 
Pursue these fearefull creatures o're the downs, 
And on they well-breath'd horse keepe with thy 


Venus and Adonis (1593. Edition 1607) 


To take such wilde duckes as are about your pondes to 
make them tame, you must cast the lees of wine or red 
wine in that verie place of the pond side, where you have 
accustomed to cast them meat of wine and corne, with 
leaven and flower tempered together, and you shall take 


them when you see them drunke. Or else to take of the 
roote and seed of Henbane a good quantitie, and lay it to 
steepe in a basen full of water a whole day and a night ; 
afterward put thereinto wheat, and boile all together untill 
the said corne be well steept and swelled., . . . the wilde 
duckes will runne unto it, and as soone as they shall have 
eaten it they will fall downe all astonished and giddie. 


La Maison Rustique (1572) 
Trans. Richard Surflet (1600) 


The Greeke Emperours began it, and now nothing so 
frequent : he is no body, that in the season hath not a 
Hawke on his fist. A great Art, and many bookes written 
of it. 


The Anatomy of Melancholy 
(1621. Edition 1632) 


The Persian Kings hawke after Butterflies with sparrowes. 




Take a live one in March, and put the same into a verie 
deepe and hollow bason at night after sunne set. Burie 
the said bason in the earth up to the brims, that so the 
moules may easily tumble into it, when they heare the 
captive crie in the night time. For all such as shall heare 
her (and this kind of cattell is of a verie light hearing) 
comming neer to their food, they will into the bason one 
after another ; and by how many moe go in, by so much 
will they make the greater noise (not one being able to 
get out againe) because the bason within is smooth, slike, 
and slipperie. 


La Maison Rustique (1572) 
Trans. Richard Surflet (1600) 


At Oxford Mr T. H. used, in the summer time especially, 
to rise very early in the morning, and would tye the leaden- 
counters (which they used in those dayes at Christmas, 
at post and payre) with pacthreds, which he did besmere 
with birdlime, and bayte them with parings of cheese, and 
the jack-dawes would spye them a vast distance up in the 
aire, and as far as Osney-abbey, and strike at the bayte, 
and so be harled in the string, which the wayte of the 
counter would make cling about ther wings. 


Brief Lives. Thomas Hobbes (c. 1680) 


Many Gentlemen . . . will wade up to the Arme-holes 
upon such occasions, and voluntarily undertake that, to 
satisfie their pleasure, which a poor man for a good stipend 
would scarce be hired to undergoe. . . . Hawking and hunt- 
ing are very laborious, much riding and many dangers ac- 
company them ; but this is still and quiet : and if so be the 
angler catch no Fish, yet he hath a wholesome walk to the 
Brooke side, pleasant shade by the sweet silver streames ; 
he hath good Aire, and the melodious harmony of Birds ; 
hee sees the swannes, herons, ducks, water-hens, cootes, 
&c. and many other fowle with their brood, which he 
thinketh better than the noise of Hounds, or blast of 
Homes, and all the sport that they can make. 


The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 

Fisherman's Art 

O Sir, doubt not but that Angling is an Art, and an Art 
worth your learning : The question is rather whether you 
be capable of learning it; for Angling is something like 
Poetry, men are to be born so ; I mean with inclinations 
to it, though both may be heightened by practice and exper- 
iment, but he that hopes to be a good Angler must not 
onely bring an inquiring, searching, observing wit, but 
he must bring a large measure of hope and patience, and a 
love and propensity to the Art it self; but having once got 
and practis'd it, then doubt not but Angling will prove to 


be so pleasant, that it will prove like Vertue, a reward to 
it selfe. . . . 

He that views the ancient Ecclesiastical Canons, shall 
find Hunting to be forbidden to Church-men, as being 
a toilsom, perplexing Recreation, and shall find angling 
allowed to Clergy-men, as being a harmlesse Recreation, 
that invites them to contemplation and quietness. . . . 


The Compleat Angler (1653) 

Fisherwomarfs Luck 

The Fishes in the Flood, 

when she doth Angle, 
For the Hooke strive a good 

them to entangle, 
And leaping on the Land 

from the cleare water 
Their scales upon the sand 

lavishly scatter. 


The Shepheards Sirena (1627) 


Have with you (Sir !) on my word I have him. Oh it is 
a great logger-headed Chub. Come, hang him upon that 
willow twig, and lets be going. But turn out of the way a 


little, good Scholer, towards yonder high hedg ; we'll sit 
whilst the shower falls upon the teeming earth, and gives 
a sweeter smell to the lovely flowers that adorn the verdant 


The Compleat Angler (1653) 


VENATOR : Now, now Ringwood has him. Come bring him 
to me. Look, 'tis a Bitch Otter -, and she has lately whelp'd, 
let's go to the place where she was put down, and not far 
from it you will find all her young ones, I dare warrant 
you, and kil them all too. 

HUNTSMAN : Come gentlemen, come all, lets go to the 
place where we put down the Otter. Look you, hereabout 
it was she kenell'd, look you, here it was indeed, for her's 
her young ones, no less then five ; come lets kill them all. 
PISCATOR : No, I pray Sir, save me one, and I'le try if I 
can make her tame, as I know an ingenious Gentleman 
in Leicester-shire (Mr Nich. Seagrave) has done ; who hath 
not onely made her tame, but to catch fish, and do many 
things of much pleasure. 

HUNTSMAN : Take one with all my heart ; but let us kill 
the rest. And now lets go to an honest Alehouse, where 
we may have a cup of good barley wine and sing Old Rose,, 

and all of us rejoyce together. 




Vex'd with a Thousand Pigmy friends, and such 
As dare not stand the onset of a touch. 
Strange kind of Combatants, whose Conquest lies 
In nimbly skipping from their Enemies, 
While these., with eager fiercenesse, lay about 
To catch the thing they faine would be without. 
These sable furies bravely venture on, 
But when I 'gin t'oppose them, whip, th'are gone. 
Doubtlesse I think each is a Magick Dauncer, 
Bred up by some infernall Necromauncer, 
But that I doe believe none e'er scarce knew 
(Mongst all their spirits) such a damned crew. 


Musarum Deliciae (1655) 

Domitian the Emperour was much delighted with catching 


The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 


What pleasure doth man take in hunting the stately Stag, 
the generous Buck, the Wild Boar, the cunning Otter, the 
crafty Fox, and the fearful Hare. And if I may descend to 
a lower Game, what pleasure is it sometimes with gins to 
betray the very Vermin of the earth, as namely the Picket, 


the Fulimart, the Feret, the Pole-cat, the Mould-warp, and 
the like creatures that live upon the face and within the 
bowels of the Earth. . . . 

Hunting is a Game for Princes and noble persons ; it 
hath been highly prized in all ages. Hunting trains up 
the younger Nobility to the use of manly exercises. 

The Compleat Angler (1653) 

Eusebius is of opinion, that wilde beasts were of purpose 
created by God, that men by chasing and encountring 
them, might be fitted and enabled for warlike exercises. 


The Compleat Gentleman (1622) 



Who would ever have believed that man could voyage 
the paths of the air ? He arranges in a row feathers, the 
oars of birds, and binds together the light structure with 
flax cords ; the lower part is bound together with wax 
melted by fire, and now the labour of this remarkable piece 
of work was finished. The boy, laughing, handled the 
feathers and wax, ignorant that the implements were pre- 
pared for his own shoulders. To whom said his father, 


" It is with these ships that we must go to our own coun- 
try ; with this contraption we must flee from Minos. . . . 
But do not gaze up at the Bear, or at sworded Orion, the 
comrade of Bootes ; follow me, with the wings you will 
be given ; I will go in front, you take care to follow ; you 
will be safe with me as guide. For if we go through the 
higher air near the sun, the wax will be unable to bear 
the heat ; or if we beat low wings nearer the sea, the 
moving feathers will be wet with sea water. Fly between the 
two ; mind the winds too, my son, and where the breezes 
carry you, spread sail to them." While he admonishes, he 
fits his work on to the boy, and shows him how to move, 
as their mother instructs the weak birds. Then he fits to 
his own shoulders the wings he has made, and nervously 
launches his body on its new journey. And now, about 
to fly, he gave his little son a kiss. . . . There was a 
hill less than a mountain, higher than the level fields ; 
from this the two take off for their ill-starred flight. 
Daedalus moves his own wings, and at the same time 
looks back at his son's, and keeps ever on his course. And 
now the novel journey delights them, and Icarus, having 
put aside fear, flies more boldly, with audacious skill. A 
man catching fish on a quivering rod saw them, and his 
hand dropped from the task he had begun. Now Samos 
lay on their left (Naxos and Paros had been left behind, 
and Delos, beloved of Apollo) ; on their right was Lebyn- 
thos, and wood-shaded Calymne, and Astypalea encircled 
by fishy seas ; when the boy, too rash in his incautious 
years, made his way higher, and left his father. . . . 
[Here this flight loses its status as a Pleasure, and must end.] 

Ars Amatoria. Bk. II (c. 2 B.C.) 



So from the turf outsprang two steeds jet-black. 
Each with large dark blue wings upon his back. 
The youth of Caria placed the lovely dame 
On one, and felt himself in spleen to tame 
The other's fierceness. Through the air they flew. 
High as the eagles. Like two drops of dew 
Exhaled to Phoebus' lips, away they are gone, 
Far from the earth away, unseen, alone, 
Among cool clouds and winds. . . . 


Endymion (1818) 


There are foure severall ways wherby this flying in the 
aire, hath beene or may be attempted. ... i. By spirits 
or Angels. 2. By the help of Fowls. 3. By wings fastened 
immediately to the body. 4. By a flying chariot. . . . We 
read of divers that have passed swiftly in the air, by the 
help of spirits and Angels Thus witches are commonly 
related to passe unto their usuall meetings . . . and as they 
doe sell windes unto Mariners, so likewise are they some- 
times hired to carry men speedily through the open air. 
Acosta affirms that such kind of passage are usuall among 
divers sorcerers with the Indians at this day. 


Mathematicall Magick (1648) 


The day being arrived on which Mr Lunardi had informed 
the public . . . that he would ascend with the Air Balloon 
... at a very early hour of the day, about a hundred and 
fifty thousand spectators . . . assembled together at the 
Artillery Ground, Moorfields, where the machine was to 
be launched . . . forming together of themselves, per- 
haps, one of the grandest spectacles ever seen, there being 
. . . the Prince of Wales, Mr Fox, Colonel Fitzpatrick, 
Lord North, Lord Robert Spenser, Colonel North, Mr 
Burke, Lord Surry, Mr Sheridan, and many other persons 
of distinction, and as great a display of female beauties as 
ever, at any one time, feasted the eye of admiration. 

The novelty of a man ascending to the clouds by the 
assistance of a quantity of inflammable air, contained in 
a balloon of thirty three feet diameter, was a curiosity 
which this country had never beheld, and of course both 
the credulous and the infidel attended. . . . 

About one o'clock, Mr Lunardi and a Mr Biggins, who 
intended to ascend with Mr Lunardi in the balloon, 
came upon the spot. ... It was found, to the regret of all, 
that the enterprising spirit of Mr Biggins must remain, 
for a time at least, ungratified. The globe had not capacity 
and strength enough to elevate them both. . . . 

The machine mounted with slow and gradual majesty 
into the air. When it had risen about the height of an 
hundred feet, it descended again very low . . . but Mr 
Lunardi, with great presence of mind, threw out with his 
feet a large quantity of ballast from his sand bags, when 
the immense machine overcame the pressure of the atmo- 
sphere, disappointed the gloomy wisdom of the splenetic, 

and rose with the most beautiful and even progress to the 
skies. The clearness of the day, and the grandeur of the 
machine, added to the novelty, made it a luxury to the 
most untutored mind ; but to the philosopher and the man 
of letters it was an occasion of the most rational 
delight thus to see a new element subdued by the talents 
of man. 

Mr Lunardi was accompanied in his aerial passage by 
a couple of pigeons, a cat, and a favourite lap-dog. . . . 
When the grand machine appeared superbly floating in 
the newly subdued element, and the cradle containing the 
bold Aerial Navigator was seen depending from it, 
astonishment filled the multitude, and awful silence filled 
the air,, which the next instant was in tremulation with 
the most impassioned bursts of applause. . . . Mr Lunardi 
appeared perfectly composed, and as the balloon went up, 
bowed most gracefully, and calmly waved his flag to the 
admiring and wonder-struck spectators. . . . Being evi- 
dently too much encumbered, he threw it out. Soon after 
one of his oars broke from the pivot, and he threw that 
down also ; but . . . made use of the other occasionally to 
direct his course. . . . 

In about a quarter of an hour, sailing over Pall Mall at 
an immense height, he met with a counter current of air, 
which carried him rapidly a north easterly course, over 
Highgate. . . . The globe was visible from various parts of 
the town till near five o'clock, appearing then not larger 
than a tennis ball, soon after which it became invisible. . . . 

When Mr Lunardi had gained the utmost altitude of 
his ascension, he felt so strong a propensity for sleeping, 
that it was with the utmost difficulty he could keep him- 
self awake ; the cold at this time became so intensely 
piercing, as to render Mr Lunar di's situation in it almost 


insupportable. . . . The cat was . . . benumbed . . . and 
had not Mr Lunardi's regard for his dog led him to afford 
him the warmth of his bosom, the animal would inevitably 
have perished. 

The prospects were grand and awful beyond the power 
of imagination. . . . 

The oar which dropped was dexterously caught by 
Mr Season, master of the Magpye alehouse, the corner 
of Mutton Lane ; one of the wings or sails . . . was taken 
up by ... a servant at the Baptist's Head, St. John's Lane : 
but it was seized and torn to pieces and divided among 
the populace. The poor woman, with streaming eyes and 
wringing hands, declared that the loss of her husband or 
one of her children would scarcely have given her more 
affliction than she felt at being so cruelly despoiled. . . . 

After Mr Lunardi had been up ... about an hour and 
a half, the thermometer stood at 35 degrees, when the 
atmosphere was so cold, that icicles were upon his clothes, 
and he was fearful his balloon would burst ; at this time 
he drank several glasses of wine ... on throwing out some 
air the thermometer rose to 50, when the atmosphere was 
delightful. ... At Northaw ... he threw out his cat ... 
which was taken up alive. . . . 

He descended a little past five o'clock, at a place called 
Colliers-end. ... It is computed that his course was at 
the rate of twenty miles an hour, and that at times he was 
. . . full three miles from the earth. . . . 

The evening previous to his ascending in the balloon, 
Mr Lunardi impelled by that common prudence every 
man ought to be actuated by, and not through the impulse 
of fear . . . signed his will, with a degree of composure 
that strongly marked the philosopher and the Christian. 

Without attempting to enquire, whether aerostatic 


experiments have a further tendency than to amuse the 
mind and gratify curiosity, the occurrence here related may 
probably have an effect highly salutary both to religion 
and morality. It had an extraordinary influence on the 
vulgar uninformed., who had been almost unanimous in 
declaring the project impracticable. Demonstration hav- 
ing convinced them of their error, they will in future be 
careful not obstinately to persevere in opinions hastily 
and inconsiderately adopted. Having beheld the ingenuity 
of man accomplish an exploit which they had not con- 
ceived to be within the scope of possibility, by a natural 
transition, the firmament fretted with golden fires will 
become an object of their enquiry, and as often as Mr 
Lunardi's achievement recurs to their recollection, ideas 
connected with the Heavenly system will arise in their 
minds ; and ... it may be presumed, will be a powerful 
means of leading the mind of man to contemplate the 
stupendous works of the creation, and consequently to 
revere and venerate the great and omnipotent Author of 
our being. ANON 

Lunar di^s Grand Aerostatic Voyage through the Air, 

containing a complete and circumstantial Account of the 

Grand Aerial Flight madeby that enter prising Foreigner, 

in his Air Balloon, on Sept, 15, 1784. 


The whole scene before me filled the mind with a sublime 
pleasure. ... I uncorked my bottle, eat, drank, and wrote, 
just as in my study. . . . The broom-sticks of the witches, 
Ariostos flying-horse, even Milton's sunbeam conveying 


the angel to the earth, have all an idea of effort . . . which 
do not affect a voyage in the Balloon. Thus tranquil, and 
thus situated, how shall I describe to you a view, such as 
the antients supposed Jupiter to have of the earth ? . . . 

At half after three o'clock, I descended in a cornfield, 
on the common of South Mimms, where I landed the 
cat. ... At twenty minutes past four, I descended in a 
meadow. . . . Some labourers were at work in it. I requested 
their assistance ; they exclaimed, they would have nothing 
to do with one who came on the Devil's horse ... I at last 
owed my deliverance to the spirit and generosity of a 
female. A young woman . . . took hold of a cord which 
I had thrown out, and calling to the men, they yielded 
their assistance. . . . 

The interest which the spectators took in my voyage 
was so great, that the things I threw down were divided 
and preserved, as our people would relicks of the most 
celebrated saints. And a gentlewoman, mistaking the oar 
for my person, was so affected with my supposed destruc- 
tion, that she died in a few days. This circumstance being 
mentioned . . . when I had the honour of dining with the 
Judges ... I was very politely requested . . . not to be 
concerned at the involuntary loss I had occasioned ; that 
I had certainly saved the life of a young man who might 
possibly be reformed and be to the public a compensation 
for the loss of the lady. For the jury was deliberating on 
the fate of a criminal whom . . . they must have con- 
demned, when the Balloon appeared, and a general inatten- 
tion and confusion ensued. The jury . . . acquitted the 
criminal immediately, on which the court adjourned to 
indulge itself in observing so novel a spectacle. 


Letter to Gherardo Compagni, in Naples (Sept. 24, 1784) 


I went, with a light heart, to the Parliament House [Edin- 
burgh] where my Balloon is exhibited, being in a happy 
frame of mind for enjoying the conversation of the ladies, 
no less than 200 of whom have honoured me with their 
company this morning. Happy mortal ! you exclaim : 
and well you might, could you form any adequate idea 
of the Scottish Beauties ! . . . Ah ! what glory to ascend 
my AERIAL CHARIOT in their view ! to be the object of 
their admiration ! to have all their eyes turned to me ! 
all their prayers and wishes breathed forth for my safety ! 
and to hear their united acclamations ! Oh Heaven ! my 
very brain turns giddy with the thought, and my whole 
soul anticipates the happy moment ! 

I have just received letters from three ladies, express- 
ing their wishes to accompany me on my voyage. . . . How 
unfortunate that the Balloon should be too small to ascend 
with more than one person ! And I have not time to 
enlarge it, or else 

(Oct. 4, 1785) 


I took my departure from Rouen with M. Boby, at a 
quarter past five. . . . While we were ascending vertically 
in a majestic manner, we continually saluted the Spectators 
with our flags. . . . 

We found ourselves becalmed. . . . Having attentively 


surveyed the vast expanse and contemplated the beauty of 
the clouds, which rolled over each other like a tempestuous 
sea, we congratulated ourselves on the occasion. . . . The 
rarefied air gave M. Boby an appetite. He ate, and I fol- 
lowed his example ... we drank to the health of the city of 
Rouen and the Earth in general. . . . 

It was now, for the first time, that we opened the Valve, 
in order to descend ; it produced the desired effect. . . . 
What was the astonishment of my Companion when he 
perceived himself resting lightly on the tops of the leaves ! 
. . . Looking at me, he exclaimed with rapture, Ah, what a 
majestic descent ! Observing a great number of peasants 
running towards us, he expressed a desire to reascend, 
as it was impossible to know their intentions. . . . The 
outcries of the peasants invited our return . . . and we 
accosted them about the height of one hundred feet. 
. . . The most courageous contemplated us and exclaimed, 
" Are you Men, or Gods ? What are you ? Make your- 
selves known ! " We replied. We are men like you, and 
here is a proof of it. We took off our coats, and threw them 
down ; they seized on them eagerly, and began to divide 
them in pieces. . . . We came lightly down on a piece of 
corn, the ears of which supported us ; we floated for some 
time in that situation, and nothing surely, could be more 
majestic than to see us glide along the surface of it. At 
last we rested upon the Earth. 


An exact Narrative of his 

yd Aerial Voyage., accompanied by M. 

Boby (July 18, 1784) 



Tho' Miracles cease yet Wonders increase. 
Imposition plays up her old tune, 
Our old gallic Neighbours' scientifical labours 
Have invented the Air Balloon. 

This puff'd up Machine, most Frenchmen have seen. 

And perhaps as a very great boon 

Our wide gaping Isle Sir, may expect in short while 

The wonderful Air Balloon. 

It will mount up on high, almost to the Sky, 
You may peep if you please in the Moon : 
All Mathematicians, and deep Politicians, 
Admire the Air Balloon. 

Should war 'gain break out, as it is not a doubt 

With Some that it may happen soon, 

The French will invade us, their Troops all parade 


Brought o'er in an Air Balloon. 


Then Ships will appear, not in Water but Air, 
And come in a twinkling down : 
From Calais to Dover, how quick they'll be over, 
Blown up with the Air Balloon. 


Blood and Oons then, says Pat, but I can't believe that, 
'Tis the tale of some hum-bugging loon : 
So I say Botheration to the Frog-eating Nation, 
Likewise to the Air Balloon. 




Yesterday sevennight, as I was coming down stairs at 
Strawberry, to my chaise, my housekeeper told me, that 
if I would go into the garden, I might see a balloon ; so I 
did, and so high, that though the sun shone, I could scarce 
distinguish it, and not bigger than my snuff-box. It had 
set out privately from Moulsey, in my neighbourhood, and 
went higher than any airgonaut had yet reached. But Mr. 
Windham, and Sadler his pilot, were near meeting the fate 
of Icarus ; and though they did land safely, their bladder- 
vessel flew away again, and may be drowned in the moon 
for what we know ! Three more balloons sail to-day ; in 
short, we shall have a prodigious navy in the air, and then 
what signifies having lost the empire of the ocean ? 


Letter to Sir Horace Mann (1785) 
DP 97 


Before me I could see the pearl-grey water netted with 
tiny ripples, the yellow sands, and ahead of me the sunshine 
falling dimly through the mussel-shell slate mother-of- 
pearl mist, thickened here and there in curdled spots of 
white cloud. The mouth of the Ouse ran like a bar of 
silver through the wriggling mud-flats to King's Lynn. 
As I passed over the town, flying almost directly into the 
sun, the distant cuts, drains, dykes, waterways and rivers 
gleamed high up, suddenly startling me with the dazzle of 
ghostly silver Zeppelins on my own level in the air. I was 
flying just below the clouds, and when I reached the Bedford 
River I pressed back the stick to go up through them. 
Clouds cloaked me in shapelessness, the machine bumped 
gently, I opened the throttle a trifle as the r.p.m. fell off a 
little, shreds of vapour passed by me and the sun shone more 
radiant and more golden. At 3,000 I was above the plain of 
vapour. The sun shone brilliantly, black shadows of 
struts and wires striped my wings. On my left a vast area 
of milk was ruffled here and there with white-cap breakers. 
A wall of skimmed milk stretched facing me across the sky. 
But on my right the milky sea was calm : no cloud clotted, 
with curdled white, the almost transparent whey. Yet 
even that sea was not absolutely uniform, but watered and 
laced with long, low, gentle waves that divided the pacific 
calm. I was alone, and a happy forgetfulness came over me 
as I gazed at this mood of Nature's. 

Plane, engine, oil and air-speed were forgotten, as a car 
is forgotten, and at 5,000 feet I floated in a soundless 
disembodied dream, waking occasionally, it is true, to 
put my head into the cockpit and peer blindly until my 


sun-dazzled eyes could make the compass out. I was on my 
course and there on my left was Ely and before me rising 
up as high as my own level the sunlit loops of the Cam, 
somewhere near Cambridge, seen sparkling through the 
bank of pearl-grey mist. ... I shut the throttle and glided 
down. . . . The machine bumped as I passed through 

cloud. The air-speed fell to 60 as I glided slowly down 

I did a big side-slip, but even so I overshot and went round 
again. This time my approach was perfect, and my landing 
curiously soft and dreamlike. I was on the earth, but the 
earth was unreal : a limbo of haze and softened sunlight. 
Reality was far above me. There were no shadows here on 
earth and scarcely any sounds except that my ear squeaked 
suddenly as the air rushed into the eustachian tube. 


A Rabbit in the Air (1932) 


He climbed and it grew easier to correct the plunges for 
the stars gave him his bearings. Their pale magnet drew 
him up ; after that long and bitter quest for light, for 
nothing in the world would he forgo the frailest gleam. 
If the glimmer of a little inn were all his riches, he would 
turn around this token of his heart's desire until his 
death ! So now he soared towards the fields of light. . . . 

In a flash, the very instant he had risen clear, the pilot 
found a peace that passed his understanding. Not a ripple 
tilted the plane but, like a ship that has crossed the bar, 


it moved within a tranquil anchorage. In an unknown and 
secret corner of the sky it floated, as in a harbour of the 
Happy Isles. Below him still the storm was fashioning 
another world, thridded with squall and cloudbursts 
and lightnings, but turning to the stars a face of crystal 

Now all grew luminous, his hands, his clothes, the 
wings, and Fabien thought that he was in a limbo of 
strange magic ; for the light did not come down from the 
stars but welled up from below, from all that snowy 

The clouds beneath threw up the flakes the moon was 
pouring on them ; on every hand they loomed like towers 
of snow. A milky stream of light flowed everywhere, 
laving the plane and crew. When Fabien turned he saw 
the wireless operator smile. 

" That's better ! " he cried. 

But his words were drowned by the rumour of the 
flight ; they conversed in smiles. Pm daft, thought Fabien, 
to be smiling ; we're lost. 

And yet at last a myriad dark arms had let him go ; 
those bonds of his were loosed, as of a prisoner whom they 
let walk a while in liberty amongst the flowers. 

" Too beautiful," he thought. Amid the far-flung 
treasure of the stars he roved, in a world where no life was, 
no faintest breath of life, save his and his companion's. 
Like plunderers of fabled cities they seemed, immured in 
treasure-vaults whence there is no escape. Amongst 
these frozen jewels they were wandering, rich beyond all 
dreams, but doomed. 


Vol de Nuit 
Trans, by Stuart Gilbert (1932) 



Nakar and Damilcar descend in Clouds^ and sing 

Merry, merry, merry, we sail from the East 

Half tippled at a Rain-bow Feast. 
DAM : 

In the bright Moon-shine while winds whistle loud, 

Tivy, tivy, tivy, we mount and we fly, 

All racking along in a downy white Cloud : 

And lest our leap from the Skie should prove too far, 

We slide on the back of a new-falling Star. 

And drop from above 

In a Gelly of Love ! 
DAM : 

But now the Sun's down, and the Element's red, 

The Spirits of Fire against us make head ! 

They muster, they muster, like Gnats in the Air, 

Alas ! I must leave thee, my Fair ; 

And to my light Horse-men repair. 
DAM : 

O stay, for you need not to fear 'em to-night ; 

The wind is for us, and blows full in their fight : 

And o're the wide Ocean we fight ! 

Like leaves in the Autumn our foes will fall down, 

And hiss in the water 

But their men lye securely intrench'd in a Cloud : 

And a Trumpeter-Hornet to battel sound loud. 


Tyrannick Love (1670) 


What you say is true, said she, I love the Stars, there is 
somewhat charming in them, and I could almost be angry 
with the Sun for effacing 'em. I can never pardon him, / 
cry'd, for keeping all those Worlds from my sight : What 
Worlds, said she, looking earnestly upon me, what Worlds 
do you mean ? . . . Alas, said I, I am asham'd, I must own 
it, I have had a strong Fancy every Star is a World. I will 
not swear it is true, but must think so, because it is so 
pleasant to believe it : 'Tis a fancy come into my head, and 
is very diverting. If your folly be so diverting, said the 
Countess, Pray make me sensible of it ; provided the 
Pleasure be so great, I will believe of the Stars all you 
would have me. It is, said I, a diversion, Madam, I fear 
you will not relish, 'tis not like one of Moliere's Plays, 'tis a 
Pleasure rather of the fancy than of the Judgment. . . . 


A Plurality of Worlds 
Trans. John Glanvill (1688) 

I am glad, said the Lady, I have learnt the Genealogie of 
the Sciences, and am convinc'd I must stick to Astronomy, 
my Soul is not mercenary enough for Geometry, nor is it 
tender enough for Poetry ; but I have as much time to 
spare as Astronomy requires, beside, we are now in the 
Countrey, and lead a kind of Pastoral life, all which suits 
best with Astronomy. . . . Give me as little trouble as you 
can to comprehend you. Fear it not, Madam, said I. . . . 
Imagine then a German call'd Copernicus confounding every 
thing, tearing in pieces the beloved Circles of Antiquity, 


and shattering their Crystal Heavens like so many Glass 
Windows : seiz'd with the noble Rage of Astronomy, he 
snatcheth up the Earth from the Centre of the Universe, 
sends her packing, and placeth the Sun in the Centre. . . . 
All now turns round the Sun, the Earth herself goes 
round the Sun, and Copernicus to punish the Earth for her 
former lazyness makes her contribute all he can to the 
Motion of the Planets and Heavens, and now stripp'd of all 
the heavenly Equipage with which she was so gloriously 
attended, she hath nothing left her but the Moon, which 
still turns round her . . . and doth not leave her, but as the 
Earth advanceth in the Circle which she describeth about 
the Sun, and if the Moon turns round the Sun, it is because 
she will not quit the Earth. I understand you, said she., and 
I love the Moon for staying with us when all the other 
Planets do abandon us ; nay, I fear your German would 
have willingly taken her away too if he could, for in all his 
proceedings, I find he had a great spight to the Earth. 
'Twas well done of him, said /, to abate the Vanity of 
Mankind, who had taken up the best place in the Universe, 
and it pleaseth me to see the Earth in the croud of the 
Planets. Sure, said she, you do not think their Vanity 
extends it self as far as Astronomy ! Do you believe you 
have humbled me, in telling me the Earth goes round the 
Sun ? For my part, I do not think my self at all the worse 


I told her of a third Systemc, invented by Ticho Brake., 
who had fix'd the Earth in the Centre of the World, turn'd 
the Sun round the Earth, and the rest of the Planets round 
the Sun. . . . But the Countess, who had a quick appre- 
hension, said, she thought it was too affected, among so 
many great Bodies, to exempt the Earth only from turning 
round the Sun . . . and that tho' this Systeme was to 


prove the immobility of the Earth, yet she thought it 
very improbable. So we resolv'd to stick to Copernicus,, 
whose opinion we thought most Uniform, Probable, and 

Let us leave Mars, he is not worth our stay : But what 
a pretty thing is Jupiter, with his four Moons., or Yeomen 
of the Guard ; they are four little Planets that turn round 
him, as our Moon turns round us. 


Look at the stars ! look, look up at the skies ! 

O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air ! 
The bright boroughs, the circle-citadels there ! 
Down in dim woods the diamond delves ! the elves' eyes ! 
The grey lawns cold where gold, where quickgold lies ! 

Wind-beat whitebeam ! airy abeles set on a flare ! 

Flake-doves sent floating forth at a farmyard scare ! 
Ah well ! it is all a purchase, all is a prize. 
Buy then ! bid then ! What ? Prayer, patience, alms, 

Look, look ; a May-mess, like on orchard boughs ! 

Look ! March-bloom, like on mealed-with-yellovv 

sallows ! 

These are indeed the barn ; withindoors house 
The shocks. This piece-bright paling shuts the spouse 

Christ home, Christ and his mother and all his hallows. 


The Starlight Night (1877) 


But the Nightinghale (another of my airy creatures) breathes 
such sweet loud musick out of her little instrumental 
throat, that it might make mankind to think miracles are 
not ceased. He that at midnight (when the very laborer 
sleeps securely) should hear (as I have very often) the 
clear aires, the sweet descant , the natural rising and falling, 
the doubling and redoubling of her voice, might well be 
lifted above earth, and say, Lord, what musick hast thou 
provided for the Saints in Heaven, when thou affordest 
men such musick on earth ! 

And this makes me the lesse to wonder at the many 
Aviaries in Italy, or at the great charge of Varro his 
Aviarie, the remaines of which are yet to be seen in 
Rome. . . . 

This for the birds of pleasure, of which very much 
more might be said. 


The Compleat Angler (1653) 


Nor delaid the winged saint 
After his charge receivd ; but from among 
Thousand Celestial Ardors, where he stood 
Vaild with his gorgeous wings, up springing light 
Flew through the midst of Heav'n ; th' angelic Quires 
On each hand parting, to his speed gave way 
Through all th' Empyreal road ; . . . . 

.... Down thither prone in flight, 

He speeds, and through the vast Ethereal Skie 

Sailes between the worlds and worlds, with steddie wing 

Now on the polar windes, then with quick Fann 

Winnows the buxom Air ; till within soare 

Of Towring Eagles, to all the Fowles he seems 

A Phoenix, gaz'd by all, as that sole Bird 

When to enshrine his reliques in the Sun's 

Bright Temple, to ^Egyptian TheVs he flies. 

At once on th' Eastern cliff of Paradise 

He lights, and to his proper shape returns 

A Seraph winged ; six wings he wore, to shade 

His lineaments Divine ; the pair that clad 

Each shoulder broad, came mantling o're his brest 

With regal Ornament ; the middle pair 

Girt like a Starrie Zone his waste, and round 

Skirted his loines and thighes with downie Gold 

And colours dipt in Heav'n ; the third his feet 

Shaddowd from either heele with featherd maile 

Skie-tinctur'd grain. Like Maid's son he stood, 

And shook his Plumes, that Heav'nly fragrance filld 

The circuit wide. Strait knew all the Bands 

Of Angels under watch ; and to his state, 

And to his message high in honour rise ; 

For on som message high they guessed him bound. 

Thir glittering Tents he passd, and now is come 

Into the blissful field, through Groves of Myrrhe, 

And flouring Odours, Cassia, Nard, and Balme ; 

A Wilderness of sweets ; for Nature here 

Wantond as in her prime, and plaid at will 

Her Virgin Fancies, pouring forth more sweet, 

Wilde above rule or Art ; enormous bliss. 


Paradise Lost. Book V (1667) 



Captain Potter (born in the north of Yorkshire) sayes 
that in the country churches, at Christmas, in the Holy- 
daies after Prayers, they will dance in the Church, and 
as they doe dance they cry (or sing) 

" Yole, Yole, Yole, etc." 


Remains of Gentilism and Judaism (1687) 


In the west riding of Yorkshire on Xmass Eve, at night, 
they bring in a large Yule-log, or Xmass block, and set it 
on fire, and lap their Christmas ale, and sing, 
" Yule, Yule, 
A pack of new cards and Xmass stool." 



On Christmas eve I went not to bed, being desirous of 
seeing the many extraordinary ceremonies performed then 
in their churches, as midnight masses and sermons. I 
walked from church to church the whole night in admira- 
tion at the multitude of sceanes and pageantry which the 
friars had with much industry set out, to catch the devout 
women and superstitious sort of people, who never parted 
without dropping some money into a vessell set on 
purpose ; but especially observable was the pupetry in 
the Church of the Minerva, representing the Nativity. 
I thence went and heard a sermon at the Apollinare ; by 
which time it was morning. 

Diary (Rome 1644) 


It is now Christmas, and not a Cup of drinke must passe 
without a Caroll, the Beasts, Fowle and Fish, come to a 
generall execution, and the Corne is ground to dust for 
the Bakehouse, and the Pastry : Cards and Dice purge 
many a purse, . . . now good cheere and welcome, and 
God be with you, and I thanke you : and against the new 
yeere, provide for the presents : the Lord of Mis-rule is 
no meane man for his time, and the ghests of the high 
Table must lacke no Wine : the lusty bloods must looke 
about them like men, and piping the dauncing puts away 


much melancholy : stolne Venison is sweet, and a fat 
Coney is worth money : . . . a good fire heats all the house, 
and a full Almes-basket makes the Beggers Prayers : the 
Maskers and Mummers make the merry sport : . . . 
Swearers and Swaggerers are sent away to the Ale-house, 
and unruly Wenches goe in danger of Judgement : 
Musicians now make their Instruments speake out, and a 
good song is worth the hearing. In summe, it is holy 
time, a duty in Christians, for the remembrance of Christ, 
and custome among friends, for the maintenance of good 
fellowship : in briefe, I thus conclude of it : I hold it a 
memory of the Heavens Love, and the worlds peace, the 
myrth of the honest, and the meeting of the friendly. 


Fantasticks (1626) 



LADY TOWNLEY : He's very fine. 
EMILIA : Extream proper. 

SIR FOPLING : A slight suit I made to appear in at my first 
arrival, not worthy your consideration, Ladies. 


DORRIMANT : The Pantaloon is very well mounted. 
SIR FOP. : The Tassels are new and pretty. 
MEDLEY : I never saw a Coat better cut. 
SIR FOP. : It makes me show long-wasted, and I think 

DOR. : That's the shape our Ladies doat on. 
MED. : Your breech, though, is a handfull too high, in my 
eye, Sir Fopling. 

SIR FOP. : Peace, Medley , I have wish'd it lower a thous- 
and times, but a Pox on't, 'twill not be. 
LADY TOWN. : His Gloves are well fring'd, large and 
SIR FOP. : I was always eminent for being bien gante. 

EMILIA : He wears nothing but what are Originals of the 
most famous hands in Paris. 

SIR FOP. : You are in the right, Madam. 

LADY TOWN. : The Suit ? 

SIR FOP. : Barroy. 

EMILIA : The Garniture ? 

SIR FOP. : Le Gras. 

MED. : The Shooes ? 

SIR FOP. : Piccar. 

DOR. : The Perriwig ? 

SIR FOP. : Chedreux. 

LADY TOWN, and EMILIA : The Gloves ? 

SIR FOP. : Orangerie ! You know the smell, Ladies ! 


The Man of Mode (1676) 


In the second yeere of Queen Elizabeth, 1560, her silke 
woman, Mistris Montague, presented her majestic for a 
new yeere's gift, a paire of black knit silk stockings, the 
which, after a few dayes wearing, pleased her highness so 
well, that she sent for Mistris Montague, and asked her 
where she had them, and if she could help her to any more ; 
who answered, saying, " I made them very carefully of 
purpose onely for your majestic, and seeing these please 
you so well, I will presently set more in hand." " Do soe 
(quoth the queene) for indeed I like silke stockings so well, 
because they are pleasant, fine, and delicate, that henceforth 
I will wear no more CLOTH STOCKINGS "and from that 
time unto her death the queene never wore any more cloth 
hose, but onely silke stockings. 


Annals (1580-1605) 


LADY (to her sons) : Come hether both of you, doe you 
weare your cloathes Gentle-men like ? Where is your 
hat-band ? . . . Have you taken cleane shirts this morning ? 
Your bands .be not cleane. Why have you taken your 
wast-coates ? Is it so colde ? Button your Dublet, are you 
not ashamed to be so untrussed ? Where is your Jerkin ? 
for this morning is somewhat colde : And you also, take 
your coate, are you ungirt ? Boy Neuf-a-Bien, heere you ? 


You do nothing but play trickes there, Goe fetch your 
Masters silver hatched Daggers, you have not brushed 
their breeches, Bring the brushes and brush them before 
me. Lord God how dustie they are ! They are full of dust, 
what stockins have you ? Your silke stockins or your 
wosted hose ? Put on your garters embroidered with 
silver, for it may be that yee shall goe foorth w^th me, 
where are your Cuffes and your falles ? Have you cleane 
handkerchers ? Take your perfumed gloves that are 
lyned, Put on your gownes untill we goe, and then you 
shall take your cloakes lyned with Taffate, and your 
Rapiers with silver hikes. Tye your shooe-stringes. Well, 
take your bootes, your boot-hosen, and your gilt spurres. 
Ri(chard) Neuf-a-Bien, have you made cleane their shooes 
to-day ? 

LADY : Truely so it seemes, come hether you brasen-facte 
Iyer, art thou not ashamed to affirme so apparent a lye 
before me ? The myre and durt sticke on them yet. Seest 
thou not that they are all durtie ? 


The French Garden (1605) 


In a Room where both Sexes meet, if the Men are dis- 
coursing upon any general Subject, the Ladies never 
think it their business to partake in what passes, but in a 
separate Club entertain each other, with the price and 
choice of Lace and Silk, and what Dresses they liked or dis- 
approved at the Church or the Play-House. And when you 


are among yourselves, how naturally, after the first Com- 
plements, do you apply your hands to each other's Lap- 
pets and Ruffles and Mantuas, as if the whole business of 
your Lives, and the publick concern of the World, depended 
upon the Cut and colour of your Dresses. As Divines say, 
that some People take more pains to be damned, than it 
would cost them to be Saved ; so your Sex employs more 
thought, memory, and application to be Fools, than would 
serve to make them wise and useful. When I reflect on this, 
I cannot conceive you to be Human Creatures, but a sort 
of Species hardly a degree above a Monkey ; who has more 
diverting Tricks than any of you ; is an Animal less mis- 
chievous and expensive, might in time be a tolerable 
Critick in Velvet and Brocade, and for ought I know 
wou'd equally become them. 

I would have you look upon Finery as a necessary Folly, 
as all great Ladies did whom I have ever known : I do 
not desire you to be out of the fashion, but to be the last 
and least in it : ... and in your own heart I would wish you 
to be an utter Contemner of all Distinctions which a finer 
Petticoat can give you ; because it will neither make you 
richer, handsomer, younger, better natur'd, more vertu- 
ous, or wise, than if it hung upon a Peg. 


Letter to a Young Lady (1727) 


Again I am annoyed by the foolish absurdity of the present 
mode of dress. Some ladies carry on their heads a large 
quantity of fruit, and yet they would despise a poor useful 


member of society, who carried it there for the purpose of 
selling it for bread. Some, at the back of their perpendicu- 
lar caps, hang four or five ostrich feathers, of different 
colours, etc. Spirit of Addison ! thou pure and gentle shade, 
arise ! thou, who with such fine humour, and such polished 
sarcasm, didst lash the cherry-coloured hood, and the party 
patches, and cut down, with a trenchant sickle, a whole 
harvest of follies and absurdities awake ! for the follies 
thou didst lash were but the beginning of follies ; and the 
absurdities thou didst censure, were but the seeds of 
absurdities ! Oh, that thy master-spirit, speaking and 
chiding in thy graceful page, could recall the blushes, and 
collect the scattered and mutilated remnants of female 
modesty ! 


Letter to her sister (1776) 


The women here . . . when they go abroad, though they 
be naked, yet they are laden with gold and precious stones 
hanging at their Ears, Necks, Legs, Armes, and upon 
their Breasts. 


Anthropometamorphosis : or. The Artificial Changeling 




In Summer time yerely, you shall see an infinit number of 
snakes, gather round together into an hoape, entangled 
and enwrapped one within another so artificially, as I am 
not able to expresse the manner thereof; by the means 
therfore of the froth or salivation which they yeeld from 
their mouths . . . there is engendred the egg aforesaid. 
The priests of France called Druidae, are of opinion, and 
so they deliver it, that these serpents when they have 
thus engendred this egg, do cast it up on high into the 
aire, by the force of their hissing, which being observed, 
there must be one ready to catch and receive it in the fall 
again (before it touch the ground) within the lappet of a 
coat of arms or soldiers cassocks. They affirme also that 
the party who carrieth this egg away had need to be wel 
mounted upon a good horse and to ride away upon the 
spur, for that the foresaid serpents will pursue him still, 
and never give over until they meet with some great river 
between him and them. . . . They ad moreover and say, 
that the onely marke to know the egg whether it be right 
or no, is this, That it will swim aloft above the water 
even against the stream, yea though it were bound and 


enchased in a plate of gold. Over and besides, these 
Druidae ... do affirme, That there must be a certaine 
speciall time of the Moones age espied, when this business 
is to be gone about. PLINY 

Natural History (c. 77) 
Trans. Philemon Holland (1601) 


Next morning I went to see Sir Thomas Browne. . . . 
His whole house and garden being a paradise and cabinet of 
rarities, and that of the best collection, especially medails, 
books, plants, and natural things. Amongst other curios- 
ities, Sir Thomas had a collection of the eggs of all the 
foule and birds he could procure, that country (especialy 
the promontory of Norfolck) being frequented, as he said, 
by severall kinds which seldome or never go farther into 
the land, as cranes, storkes, eagles, and variety of water- 


Diary (Oct. 17, 1671) 


The Bishop [More, of Ely] collected his library by 
plundering those of the clergy in his diocese ; some he 
paid with sermons or more modern books ; others, less 
civilly, only with a quid illiterati cum libris ? 


Anecdotes of British Topography (1768) 

A gentleman calling on a friend who had a very choice 
library, found him unusually busy in putting his best 
books out of sight : upon asking his view in this, he was 
answered. Don't you know the Bishop of Ely dines with 
me to-day ? 


For this is my mynde this one pleasoure have I 
Of bokes to have grete plenty and aparayle. . . . 

Still am I besy bokes assemblynge 
For to have plenty it is a pleasaunt thynge 
In my conceyt and to have them ay in honde 
But what they mene do I nat understonde. 

But yet I have them in great reverence 

And honoure savynge them from fylth and ordure 

By often brusshynge and moche dylygence 

Full goodly bounde in pleasaunt coverture 

Of damas satyn or else of velvet pure. 

I kepe them sure ferynge lyst they sholde be lost 

For in them is the ccnnynge wherin I me bost. 


The Shyp of Folys (1509) 
(Trans, from Brandt) 

The personal dislike which Pope Innocent X bore to 
the French had originated in his youth, when a cardinal, 
from having been detected in the library of an eminent 
French collector of having purloined a most rare volume. 


The delirium of a collector's rage overcame even French 
politesse ; the Frenchman not only openly accused his 
illustrious culprit, but was resolved that he should not 
quit the library without replacing the precious volume 
from accusation and denial both resolved to try their 
strength : but in this literary wrestling-match the book 
dropped out of the cardinal's robes and from that day 
he hated the French. ISAAC DISRAELI 

Curiosities of Literature (1791-1823) 

I have made Mr Bodley acquainted with your kinde 
and friendly offer, who accepteth of it in most thankful 
manner : and if it pleaseth you to appoint to-morrow . . . 
wee will not fayle to bee with you at your house for that 
purpose. And remember I give you fay re warning that 
if you hold any booke so deare as that you wold be loth 
to have him out of your sight, gett him aside beforehande ; 
for myne owne part, I will not doe wronge to my judge- 
ment as to chuse of the worst, if bettere bee in place. And 
beside you wold account mee a simple man. . . . 

True it is that I have raysed some expectations of the 
quality of your gift in Mr Bodley, whom you shall find 
a gentle man, in all respects very worthy of your ac- 
quayntance. SIR HENRY SAVILE 

Letter to Sir Robert Cotton (c. 1600) 

NOTE. As an example of the garbling methods of literary anec- 
dotists, it is instructive to compare this letter with the account 
of it given by Isaac Disraeli in Curiosities of Literature, which runs, 
cc Sir Robert Saville writing to Sir Robert Cotton, appointing an 
interview with the founder of the Bodleian Library, cautions Sir 
Robert, that ( If he held any book so dear as he would be loath to 
lose it, he should not let Sir Thomas out of his sight) but set " the 
boke " aside beforehand.' " 



One of the Ptolemies refused supplying the famished 
Athenians with wheat, until they presented him with 
the original manuscripts of Aiscylus, Sophocles, and 


Curiosities of Literature (1792-1823) 



In various talk th'instructive hours they past, 
Who gave the ball, or paid the visit last. 
One speaks the glory of the British Queen, 
And one describes a charming Indian screen ; 
A third interprets motions, looks, and eyes ; 
At ev'ry word a reputation dies. 
Snuff, or the fan, supply each pause of chat, 
With singing, laughing, ogling, and all that. 


The Rape of the Lock (1712) 


At table I had very good discourse with Mr Ashmole, 
wherin he did assure me that frogs and many insects do 
often fall from the sky, ready formed. SAMUEL PEPYS 

Diary (May 23, 1661) 


When I called upon Dr Johnson next morning, I found 
him highly satisfied with his colloquial prowess the 
preceding evening. " Well (said he) we had good talk." 
BOSWELL : " Yes, Sir ; you tossed and gored several 

Life of Johnson (1791) 


BELINDA : Come, Mr. Sharper, you and I will take a Turn, 
and laugh at the Vulgar Both the great Vulgar and the 
small Oh Gad ! I have a great passion for Cowley 
Don't you admire him ? 

SHARPER : Oh Madam ! He was our English Horace. 
BELINDA : Ah so fine ! So extreamly fine ! So every thing 
in the World that I like Oh Lord, walk this Way I see 
a Couple, I'll give you their History. ^^ CONGREVE 

The Old Batchelor (1693) 



CARELESS : Where are the Women ? I'm weary of guzz- 
ling, and begin to think them the better Company ? 
MELLEFONT : Then thy Reason staggers, and thou'rt 
almost Drunk. 

CARELESS : No Faith, but your Fools grow noisie and 
if a Man must endure the Noise of Words without Sense, 
I think the Women have more Musical Voices, and 
become Nonsense better. 

MELLEFONT : Why, they are at the end of the Gallery ; 
retir'd to their Tea and Scandal ; acording to their 
Ancient Custom after Dinner. 


The Double-Dealer (1693) 


If you are in company with Men of learning, though they 
happen to discourse of Arts and Sciences out of your com- 
pass, yet you will gather more advantage by list'ning to 
them than from all the nonsense and frippery of your own 
Sex ; but, if they be Men of Breeding as well as Learning, 
they will seldom engage in any Conversation where you 
ought not to be a hearer, and in time have your part. If they 
talk of the Manners and Customs of the several Kingdoms 
of Europe, of Travels into remoter Nations, of the state of 
their own Country, or of the great Men and Actions of 
Greece and Rome ; if they give their judgment upon English 
and French Writers, either in Verse or Prose, or of the 


nature and limits of Virtue and Vice, it is a shame for an 
English Lady not to relish such Discourses, not to improve 
by them, and endeavour by Reading and Information, to 
have her share in those Entertainments ; rather than turn 
aside, as it is the usual custom, and consult with the 
Woman who sits next her, about a new Cargo of Fans. 


Letter to a Young Lady (1727) 


One of the greatest pleasures of life is conversation ; 
and the pleasures of conversation are of course enhanced by 
every increase of knowledge : not that we should meet 
together to talk of alkalis and angles, or to add to our stock 
of history and philology, though a little of these tilings is 
no bad thing in conversation ; but let the subject be what 
it may, there is always a prodigious difference between 
the conversation of those who have been well educated and 
of those who have not enjoyed this advantage. Education 
gives fecundity of thought, copiousness of illustration, 
quickness, vigour, fancy, words, images and illustrations ; 
it decorates every common thing, and gives the power of 
trifling without being undignified and absurd. . . . Now, 
really, nothing can be further from our intention than to 
say anything rude and unpleasant; but we must be excused 
from observing, that it is not now a very common thing 
to be interested by the variety and extent of female know- 


Female Education (1809) 


If they have a story to relate, they must needs make its 
beginning rise with the Beginning of the World, and they 
dwell so long upon frivolous circumstances that they are 
insensibly drawne to other matters, into which they hop 
like birds from branch to branch, and sometimes in the 
very middle of their relation they wander so far from the 
Subject they had in Hand, that they are forc'd to seek 
about for it againe, as the young lad did for his Fathers 

J. B. 
Heroick Education (1657) 


I have passed, perhaps, more time than any other man of 
my age and country in visits and assemblies, where the 
polite persons of both sexes distinguish themselves ; and 
could not without much grief observe how frequently both 
gentlemen and ladies are at a loss for questions, answers 
replies and rejoinders. . . . How often do we see at Court, 
at publick visiting-days, at great men's levees, and other 
places of general meeting that the conversation falls and 
drops to nothing, like a fire without supply of fuel. This 
is what we all ought to lament ; and against this dangerous 
evil I take upon me to affirm, that I have, in the follow- 
ing papers, provided an infallible remedy. . . . 

The curious reader will observe, that, when conversa- 
tion appears in danger to flag ... I took care to invent 
some sudden question, or turn of wit to revive it ; such as 


these that follow : " What ? I think here's a silent meeting ! 
Come, Madam, a penny for your thought " ; with several 

others of the like sort 

When this happy art of polite conversing shall be 
thoroughly improved, good company will be no longer 
pestered with dull, dry, tedious story-tellers, nor brangling 
disputers ; for a right scholar of either sex in our science 
will perpetually interrupt them with some sudden sur- 
prising piece of wit, that shall engage all the company in a 
loud laugh ; and if, after a pause, the grave companion 
resumes his thread in the following manner, " Well, but 
to go on with my story," new interruptions come from the 
left and right, till he is forced to give over. 


Introduction to A Compleat Collection of Genteel and 
Ingenious Conversation (1738) 


Lady Smarfs antichamber. Miss Notable comes in. 

MR. NEVEROUT : Miss, your slave : I hope your early 
rising will do you no harm. I find you are but just come 
out of the cloth market. 

Miss : I always rise at eleven, whether it be day or no. 
COL. ATWITT : Miss, I hope you are up for all day. 
Miss : Yes, if I don't get a fall before night. 
COL. : Miss, I heard you were out of order ; pray, how 
are you now ? 

Miss : Pretty well, Colonel, I thank you. 
COL. : Pretty and well, miss ! that's two very good things . . . 


Miss (to LADY SMART) : Pray, Madam, give me some 
more sugar to my tea. 

COL. : Oh ! Miss, you must needs be very good- 
humour'd, you love sweet things so well. 
NEVEROUT : Stir it up with the spoon, miss ; for the 
deeper the sweeter. 

LADY SMART : I assure you, Miss, the Colonel has made 
you a great compliment. 

Miss : I am sorry for it ; for I have heard say, compli- 
menting is lying. . . . 

LADY SMART : Lord, miss, how can you drink your tea 
so hot ? sure your mouth's paved. How do you like this 
tea, colonel ? 

COL. : Well enough, madam ; but methinks it is a little 

LADY SMART : Oh colonel ! I understand you. Betty, 
bring the canister ; I have very little of this tea left ; but I 
don't love to make two wants of one ; want when I have it, 
and want when I have it not. He, he, he, he. 
LADY ANSWERALL (to the MAID) : Why, sure, Betty, you 
are bewitched, the cream is burnt too. 
BETTY : Why, madam, the bishop has set his foot in it. 
LADY SMART : Go, run, girl, and warm fresh cream. 
BETTY : Indeed, madam, there's none left ; for the cat 
has eaten it all. 

LADY SMART : I doubt it was a cat with two legs. . . . 
COL. : Miss, when will you be married ? 
Miss : One of these odd-come-shortly's, colonel. 
NEVEROUT : Yes ; they say the match is half made, the 
spark is willing, but miss is not. 

Miss : I suppose the gentleman has got his own consent 
for it. 


LADY A. : Pray, my Lord, did you walk through the 
Park in the rain ? 

LORD SPARKISH : Yes, madam, we were neither sugar nor 
salt, we were not afraid the rain would melt us. He, he, he. 
COL. : It rain'd, and the sun shone at the same time. . . . 
LADY S. : Miss, dear girl, fill me out a dish of tea, for I'm 
very lazy. 

MlSS fills a dish of tea., sweetens it, and tastes it. 
LADY S. : What, miss, will you be my taster ? 
Miss : No, madam ; but they say it's an ill cook that can't 
lick her own fingers. 
NEV. : Pray, miss, fill me another. 
Miss : Will you have it now, or stay till you get it ? 

LADY A. : But, colonel, they say you went to court last 
night very drunk : nay, I'm told for certain, you had been 
among the Philistines : no wonder the cat winked when 
both her eyes were out. 

COL. : Indeed, madam, that's a lye. 

LADY A. : Tis better I should lye than you should lose 
your good manners besides, I don't lie, I sit. . . . 

LADY S. : Well, I fear Lady Answerall can't live long, 

she has so much wit. . . . 

Miss : But pray, Mr Neverout, what lady was that you 

were talking with in the side-box last Tuesday ? 

NEV. : Miss, can you keep a secret ? 

Miss : Yes, I can. 

NEV. : Well, miss, and so can I. 


A Compleat Collection of Genteel and Ingenious 

Conversation (1738) 



It is honorable, both for that by this meanes infinite 
nombers of soules may be brought from theyr idolatry, 
bloody sacrifices, ignoraimce and incivility, to the wor- 
shipping of the true God aright to civill conversation, and 
also theyr bodyes freed from the intollerable tirrany of 
the Spaniards whereunto they are already or likely in 
shorte space to be subjected, unlesse her excellent 
Majestic or some other Christian prince doe speedily 
assiste, and afterward protect them in their just defensive 
wars against the violence of usurpers. . . . 

Likewise it is profitable, for heereby the Queens 
dominions may bee exceedingly enlarged, and this Realme 
inestimably enriched, with pretious stones, gold, silver, 
pearle, and other commodityes which those countryes 
yeald, and (God giving good successe to the voiage) an 
entrance made thereby to many other Empyres (which 
happily may prove as rich as this) and it may bee to Peru 
its selfe and other Kingdomes of which the Spaniards bee 
now possessed. . . . 

To be shorte, all sound Christians ... do repute the 
Kings of Castile and Portugall meere usurpers in Africke 
and America. . . . Christians may not warrantably con- 
quer Infidells upon pretence only of their infidelity. But I 


hould it very reasonable and charitable to send preachers 
safely guarded if need bee, to offer Infidells the gladd 
tidings of the Gospell. . . . 

The condicions to be required of them are these. First 
to renounce their Idolatry, and to worship the only true 

2. That the Inga of Manoa . . . surrender the ensignes 
of his Empire to her Majestic. . . . Also her Majesties 
Lieuetenantes to direct the Guianians in their conclusions 
both of warr and peace : Rendring yearly to Her Majestic 
and her successors a great tribute allotting to her use 
some rich mines and rivers of gold, pearle, silver, rocks of 
pretious stone, etc. with some large fruitfull countryes for 
the planting of her Colonyes. . . . 

Wee may make choise to arme and instructe such of 
them as we find most trusty and most prone to Christianity, 
reserving the powder and shott in our own custody. . . . 

Besids this easy and compendious way of possessing 
Guiana by arming the inhabitants, there is speciall choise 
to be had in sending preachers of good discrecion and 
behavior for their conversion. SJR WALTER RALEIGH 

Of the Voyage for Guiana (c. 1598) 

He the Duke of Norfolk renounced " the errors of 
Popery "... he said, " I cannot be a good Catholic ; I 
cannot go to Heaven ; and if a man is to go to the devil, he 
may as well go thither from the House of Lords as from 
any other place on earth." 

When he qualified for some office, perhaps that of Lord 
Lieutenant of the county of Gloucester, I think which 
qualification consists in receiving the Lord's Supper 


according to the rite of the Church of England, he returned 
the cup out of which he drank the sacramental wine, 

saying in hardly an under voice, " Port, by G ! " What 

does the Church of England gain by conversions such as 
these ? 


Personal and Literary Memorials (1829) 


Yesterday I went 

To see a lady that has a parrott ; my woman 
While I was in discourse, converted the fowle, 
And now it can speak naught but Knox's words ; 
So there's a parrot lost. 


The City Match (1639) 


In the river of Palo otherwise called Orinoque, in the 
principall part thereof called Warismero, the 23 of Aprill 
1593, Domingo de Vcra Master of the Campe and . . . 
Captaine generall for our Lorde the King . . . commanded 
all the soldiers to be drawne together and put in order of 
battaile, the Captaines and soldiers and master of the 
campe standing in the middest of them, said unto them : 
Sirs, Soldiers and Captaines, you understand long since that 
our Generall Anth. de Berreo, with the travell of 1 1 yeares, 
EP 129 

and expence of more than 100000 pesoes of Gold., dis- 
covered the noble provinces of Guiana and Dorado : On 
the which he tooke possession to governe the same. . . . 
Now they had sente me to learne out and discover the ways 
most easily to enter and to people the saide provinces, and 
where the Campes and Armies may best enter the same. 
By reason whereof I entend to do so in the name of his 
Majesty, and the said governour Antho. de Berreo, and in 
token thereof I require you, Fran. Carillo, that you aide 
me to advance this crosse that lieth here on the ground, 
which they set on end towardes the east, and the said 
Master of the Campe, the Captains and soldiers kneeled 
down and did due reverence unto the said crosse, and 
thereupon the Master of the Campe . . . drew out his sworde 
and cut the grasse of the ground, and the boughs of the 
trees, saying, I take this possession in the name of Don 
Philip our master, and of his governour Antho : de Berrco . . . 
And the said Master of the Campe kneeled downe . . . and 
all the Captaines and soldiers saide that the possession was 
wel taken, and that they would defend it with their lives, 
upon whosoever would say the contrary. . . . And in 
prosecution of the said possession . . . the Master of the 
Camp entered by little and little, with all the Campe and 
men of warre, more then two leagues into the Inland, and 
came to a towne of a Principall, and conferring with him 
did let him understand . . . that his Majesty . . . had sent 
him to take the said possession. And the said fryer Francis 
Carillo by the Interpreter delivered him certain thingcs 
of our holy Catholique faith, to al which he answered, that 
they understood him well and would becom Christians, 
and that with a very good wil they should advance the 
crosse, in what part or place of the towne it pleased them, 
for he was for the governour Anth : de Berreo, who was 


his Master. Thereupon the said master of the Campe 
tooke a great crosse, and set it on ende toward the east, 
and requested the whole Campe to witnesse it. 

RODRIGO DE CARANCA, Register of the Army 

Report to King of Spain of the discovery of Nuevo 

Dorado. Taken at sea by Captain Popham and trans. 

by Sir Walter Raleigh (1594) 


For when the Saxons first receaved the Christian Faith, 
Paidinus of old Yorke, the zealous Bishop then, 
In Swales abundant streame Christned ten thousand men, 
With women and their babes, a number more beside. 
Upon one happy day, whereof shee boasts with pride. 


Poly-Olbion. Song XXVIII 


Upon the dissolution of the abbeys, he [Henry VIII] 
gave him the abbey of Wilton, and a country of lands 
and mannours therabout belonging to it. ... 

In queen Mary's time, upon the returne of the Catho- 
lique religion, the nunnes came again to Wilton abbey, 
and this William, earl of Pembroke came to the gate . . . 
with his cappe in his hand, and fell upon his knee to the 
lady abbesse and the nunnes, crying peccavi. Upon queen 


Mary's death the earle came to Wilton (like a tygre) and 
turned them out, crying, " Out, ye whores, to worke, to 
worke, ye whores, goe spinne." 


Brief Lives : William Herbert, 1st earle of Pembroke 

(c. 1680) 


The day of restoration of K.Ch.2 observed. . . . They 
were freed from the chaines of darkness and confusion 
which the presbyterians and phanaticks had brought upon 
them . . . some of them seeing what mischiefe they had 
done, tack'd about to participate of the universal joy, and 
at length clos'd with the royal partie. 


Life and Times (1660) 

O falsnes ! He that ran with the humour of King James II 
now forsakes him, to cring to prince of Orange in hopes 
to keep his bishoprick. 



Such strifes as these S. Augustine had, when S. Ambrose 
indeavoured his conversion to Christianity, . . . Our learned 
Author ... did the like. And declaring his intention to 


his deare friend D. King, the then worthy Bishop of 
London . . . That Reverend Bishop most gladly received 
the news ; and, with all convenient speed ordained him 
Deacon and Priest. 

Now the English Church had gained a second S. 
Augustine, for I think none was so like him before his 
conversion : none so like S. Ambrose after it. And if his 
youth had the infirmities of the one Father, his age had 
the excellencies of the other, the learning and holiness of 

Now all his studies (which were occasionally diffused) 
were concentred in Divinity. Now he had a new calling, 
new thoughts, and a new employment for his wit and 
eloquence. Now all his earthly affections were changed 
into divine love, and all the faculties of his soule were 
ingaged in the conversion of others. . . . 

Presently after he enterd into his holy Profession, the 
King made him his Chaplaine in ordinary, and gave him 
other incouragements, promising to take a particular 
care of him. 


Life of Dr. John Donne (1640) 


Who could imagine that Diogenes in his yonger dayes 
should bee a falsifier of mony who in the after-course of 
his life was so great a contemner of metall, as to laugh at 
all that loved it. Butt men are not the same in all divisions 
of their ages. 


Notes from Commonplace Books (Undated) 


Dr Twiss, . . . told me, that his father (Dr Twiss, 

polocutor of the Assembly of Divines, and Author of Vin- 
diciae] when he was a school-boy at Winchester, saw the 
phantome of a Scool-fellow of his, deceased, (a rake-hell) 
who said to him, " / am damned" This was the occasion 
of Dr Twiss's (the father's) Conversion, who had been 
before that time, as he told his Son, a very wicked Boy, 
he was hypochondriacal. There is a Story like this, of the 
Conversion of St Bruno, by an Apparition : upon which 
he became mighty devout, and founded the Order of the 
Carthusians. JOHN AUBREY 

Miscellanies (1696) 


But about the I4th Year of his Age, being under some 
more than usual Convictions of Sin, after his having 
robb'd a Neighbour's Orchard, it pleas'd God he met 
with Parsons Of Resolution, (as Corrected by Bunny) in 
the reading of which such Impressions were made upon 
his Spirit, as never wore off to the Day of his Death. 
... He had often formerly had tho'ts of this kind Stirring 
in his Mind, but now they came in another manner, with 
Sense and Power and Seriousness to his Heart. This cast 
him into Fears about his Condition, and they drove him 
to Cordial Contrition, Confession, and Prayer ; and 
issu'd in a serious Resolution of altering his Course. 
Meeting afterwards with Dr. Sibb's Bruised Reed, . . . 
by the reading also of Mr. Perkins of Repentance., . . . 
and some other of his Treatises, he was further inform'd 


and confirmed. . . . The reading of Mr. Ezek. Culverwel 
Of Faith at this time gave him much Relief. . . . 

Upon further search., he found that the first Degree of 
Special Grace was usually very small, and therefore not 
easily distinguishable in the season of its first Prevalence 
from Preparatory Grace : . . . But that which most per- 
plex'd him, and which created him the Greatest Difficulty, 
was the finding himself Guilty of known and deliberate 
Sin, after that he had tho't himself Converted : This he 
for a long time could not tell how to Reconcile with true 
Grace. Every known Sin he committed, in this respect, 
renew'd his Doubt. . . . 

It much encreas'd his Peace to find others in the like 
Condition : He found his Case had nothing Singular. 


Life of Richard Baxter (1702) 


Mrs Knowles mentioned, as a proselyte to Quakerism, 
a young lady well known to Dr Johnson . . . JOHNSON 
(frowning very angrily) : " Madam, she is an odious 
wench. She could not have any proper conviction that it 
was her duty to change her religion. . . . She knew no more 
of the Church which she left, and that which she em- 
braced, than she did of the difference between the Co- 
pernican and Ptolemaic systems." MRS KNOWLES: " She 
had the New Testament before her." JOHNSON : " Madam, 
she could not understand the New Testament." 


Life of Johnson (1791) 



MRS FAINALL : You were dress'd before I came abroad. 

MILLAMANT : Ay, that's true O but then I had 

Mincing., what had I ? Why was I so long ? 

MINCING : O Mem, your Laship staid to peruse a Pacquet 
of Letters. 

MILL. : O ay. Letters I had Letters I am persecuted 

with Letters I hate Letters No Body knows how 

to write Letters ; and yet one has 'em, one does not know 
why They serve one to pin up one's Hair. 

WITWOUD : Is that the way ? Pray, Madam, do you pin 
up your Hair with all your Letters ? I find I must keep 

MILL. : Only with those in Verse, Mr Witwoud. I never 
pin up my Hair with Prose. I think I try'd once, Mincing. 

MINCING : O Mem, I shall never forget it. 

MILL. : Ay, poor Mincing tift and tift all the Morning. 

MINCING : Till I had the Cramp in my Fingers, I'll vow, 
Mem. And all to no purpose. But when your Laship pins 

it up with Poetry, it sits so pleasant the next Day as any 

Thing, and is so pure and so crips. 

WITWOUD : Indeed, so crips ? 

MINCING : You're such a Critick, Mr Witwoud. 

The Way of the World (1700) 


The manuscripts of Pope's version of the Iliad and 
Odyssey . . . are written chiefly on the backs of letters. 


Curiosities of Literature (1792-1823) 


Well, my dear, what's the matter with you, that you cr> 
out like an eagle ? Pray wait to judge me until you are 
here. What is there so dreadful in the words, " my days 
are full " ? When I have been gadding abroad and get 
home, I find there M. de la Rochefoucauld, whom I 
haven't seen all day : can I write ? M. de la Rochfoucauld 
and M. Gonville are here : can I write ? But when they 
have gone ? Ah, when they have gone, it's eleven o'clock, 
and I go out myself ; I am sleeping at my neighbour be- 
cause building is going on in front of my windows. But 
the afternoon ? I have a headache then. The morning ? 
A headache again, and I take a herb broth which makes me 


drunk. You are in Provence, my dear : your time is clear, 
and your head still more so ; the lust to write to everyone 
presses on you ; from me it's gone ; and if I had a lover 
who wanted letters from me every morning, I should 
break with him. Don't, then, measure our friendship by 
letters ; I should love you as much, only writing you a 
page in a month, as you love me writing ten a week. When 
I am at Saint-Maur, I can write, because I have more 
head and more leisure, but . . . Paris kills me. 


Letter to Madame de Sevigne (1673) (Trans.) 


I have expected your letter all this day with the greatest 
impatience that was posible, and at last resolved to goe out 
and meet the fellow, and when I came downe to the 
Stables, I found him come, had sett up his horse, and was 
sweeping the Stable in great Order. I could not imagin him 
so very a beast as to think his horses were to bee served be- 
fore mee, and therfor was presently struck with an appre- 
hension hee had no letter for mee, it went Colde to my 
heart as Ice, and hardly left mee courage enough to aske 
him the question, but when hee had drawled it out that 
hee thought there was a letter for mee in his bag I quickly 
made him leave his broome. Twas well tis a dull fellow, 
hee could not but have discern'd else that I was strangely 
overjoyed with it, and Earnest to have it, for though the 
poor fellow made what hast hee coulde to unty his bag, 
I did nothing but chide him for being soe slow. At Last 

I had it, and in Earnest I know not whither an intire dia- 
mond of the bignesse on't would have pleased mee half 
soe well. 


Letter to Sir William Temple (1653) 


think 'tis not to be doubted that Swallowes have been 
taught to carry Letters betwixt two Armies. But 'tis cer- 
tain that when the Turks besieged Malta or Rodes (I now 
remember not which 'twas) Pigeons are then related to 
carry and recarry Letters. And Mr G. Sander in his 
Travels (fol. 269) relates it to bee done be twist Aleppo and 


The Compleat Angler (1653) 


I have moreover read your letter. For it I do not thank 
you. It afforded me neither pleasure nor amusement. In- 
deed, my Friend, this Letter of yours has, to my mind, 
more than one fault. I do not allude to its being egotistical. 
To speak of onself is, they say, a privilege of Friendship. 
. . . There is about your Letter a mystery which I detest. 
It is so full of meaning words underlined, meaning sen- 
tences half finished ; meaning blanks with notes of admira- 
tion; and meaning quotations from foreign languages, that 


really in this abundance of meaning ... I am somewhat 
at a loss to discover what you would be at. I know how 
you will excuse yourself on this score : you will say that 
you knew my Mother would see your Letter; and that, of 
course, you cared not what difficulties I as Interpreter 
might be subjected, so that you got your feelings towards 
me expressed. Now, Sir, once for all, I beg you to under- 
stand that I dislike as much as my Mother disapproves 
your somewhat too ardent expressions of friendship to- 
wards me ; and that if you cannot write to me as to a man 
who feels a deep interest in your welfare, who admires 
your talents, respects your virtues, and for the sake of these 
has often perhaps too often overlooked your faults ; 
if you cannot write to me as if as if you were married, 
you need never waste ink or paper on me more. 


Letter to Thomas Carlyle (1822) 



I wish further that he carie himselfe pleasant and courte- 
ous unto his folke, not commanding them any thing in his 
choler. Boisterous and rough handling will prevaile as 
little with men, as with stiffenecked jades. Let him speake 


familiarly unto them, let him laugh and jest with them 
sometimes, and also either give them occasion, or else 
suffer them to laugh and be merrie. For their uncessant 
paines are somewhat mitigated, when they are vouchsafed 
some gentle and courteous intreatance of their maister 
towards them. 

Notwithstanding I wish him not to be too familiar with 
them for the avoiding of contempt. Neither would I have 
him to acquainte them with his purposes, except it be 
sometimes to aske their counsell in a matter, and let him 
not spare sometimes to seeme to doe after their advise, 
though he had determined the same course before : for 
they will worke with more cheerfulness, when they thinke 
that the matter is caried according to their invention. . . . 

Let him patiently and quietly beare their tedious and 
troublesome natures, whom he knoweth to envie and 
repine at him, never falling out with them, or giving them 
any just occasion of displeasure : but winking at that ever 
which he knoweth of their nature and naturall inclination, 
let him pleasure them to the utmost that he can, and seeme 
to be at one with them. . . . And thus he may purchase 
rest and peace. 


La Maison Rustique (1572) 
Trans. Richard Surflet (1600) 


Worthy Sir, 

I have receaved ... the booke of Sir George Ent of the 
Use of Respiration. It is a very learned and ingeniose 


tooke full of true and deepe philosophy. I pray you to pre- 
sent unto him my most humble service. Though I recieved 
it but three dayes since, yet, drawen-on by the easinesse of 
the style and elegancy of the language, I have read it all 
over, and I give you most humble thankes for sending it 
me. I pray you present my service to Mr Hooke. 

I am. Sir, your most obliged and humble servant, 

Tho: Hobbes. 


Letter to John Aubrey (1679) 


It is as uncharitable a point in us to fall upon those popular 
scurrilities and opprobrious scoffs of the Bishop of Rome, 
to whom, as a temporal Prince, we owe the duty of good 
language. I confess there is cause of passion between us : 
by his sentence I stand excommunicated ; Heretick is the 
best language he affords me ; yet can no ear witness I ever 
returned him the name of Antichrist, Man of Sin, or 
Whore of Babylon. It is the method of Charity to suffer 
without reaction ; those usual Satyrs and invectives of the 
Pulpit may perchance produce a good effect on the vulgar, 
whose ears are opener to Rhetorick than Logick ; yet do 
they in no wise confirm the faith of wiser Believers, who 
know that a good cause needs not to be patron'd by pas- 
sion, but can sustain it self upon a temperate dispute. 


Religio Medici (1642) 



Madame de Bouxols, Marshal Berwick's daughter, 
assured me that there was nothing so good for the gout, as 
to preserve the parings of my nails in a bottle close- 


Letter to Thomas Gray (1765) 


There are two rivers Atoica and Cacra, and on that 
braunch which is called Caora are a nation of people whose 
heades appeare not above their shoulders, which though it 
may be thought a meere fable, yet for mine owne parte I 
am resolves it is true, because every child in the provinces 
of Arromaia and Canuri affirme the same : they are called 
Ewaipanoma : they are reported to have their eyes in their 
shoulders, and their mouths in the middle of their breasts, 
and that a long train of haire groweth backward betwen 


their shoulders. . . . For mine owne part I saw them not, 
but I am resolved that so many people did not all com- 
bine, or forethinke to make the report. 


The Discoverie of Guiana (1596) 


In those darke [Elizabethan] times astrologer, mathema- 
tician, and conjurer, were accounted the same things ; and 
the vulgar did verily beleeve him to be a conjurer. He had 
a great many mathematicall instruments and glasses in his 
chamber, which did also confirme the ignorant in their 
opinion, and his servitor (to impose on freshmen and 
simple people) would tell them that sometimes he should 
meet the spirits comeing up his staires like bees. . . . Now 
there is to some men a great lechery in lying, and imposing 
on the understandings of simple people, and he thought it 
for his credit to serve such a master. . . . One time ... he 
happened to leave his watch in the chamber windowe 
(watches were then rarities) . The maydes came in to make 
the bed, and hearing a thing in a case cry Tick, Tick, Tick, 
presently concluded that that was his Devill, and tooke it 
by the string with the tongues, and threw it out of the win- 
do we into the mote (to drowne the Devill) . It so happened 
that the string hung upon a sprig of an elder that grew out 
of the mote, and this confirm'd them that 'twas the Devill. 
So the good old gentleman gott his watch again. 


Brief Lives : Thomas Allen (c. 1680) 


For my part, I have ever believed, and do now know, that 
there are Witches : they that doubt of these, do not onely 
deny them, but Spirits, and are obliquely and upon conse- 
quence a sort not of Infidels, but Atheists. 


Religio Medici (1642) 


By and by we are called to Sir W. Batten's to see the 
strange creature that Captain Holmes hath brought with 
him from Guiny ; it is a great baboon, but so much like a 
man in many things that though they say there is a species 
of them, yet I cannot believe but that it is a monster got 
out of a man and a she-baboon. I do believe that it already 
undestands much English, and I am of the mind it might 
be taught to speak or make signs. 


Diary (Aug. 24, 1661) 


At noon to my Lord Crew's, where one Mr. Templer (an 
ingenious man and a person of honour he seems to be) 
dined ; and, discoursing of the nature of serpents, he told 

us some that in the waste places of Lancashire do grow to a 
great bigness, and that do feed upon larks, which they take 
thus : They observe when the lark is soared to the 
highest, and so crawl till they come to be just underneath 
them ; and there they place themselves with their mouths 
uppermost, and there, as it is conceived, they do eject 
poyson up to the bird ; for the bird do suddenly come 
down again in its course of a circle, and falls directly into 
the mouth so of the serpent ; which is very strange. 

Ibid. (Feb. 4, 1662) 


I think (if you can give me leave to be free with you), that 
you are a little inclineable to credit strange relations. I 
have found men that are not skilfull in the history of 
Nature very credulous and apt to impose upon themselves 
and others, ... or delight to teratologize (pardon the word) 
and to make shew of knowing strange things. 


Letter to John Aubrey (1691) 


I took, early in the morning, a good dose of Elixir, and 
hung three spiders about my neck, and they drove my 
ague away Deo gratias. 


Life (April u, 1681) 


Mr. Noel has the Letter of Resolution concerning Origen 
to convey to your Ladiship. I am persuaded it will please 
you better than any Romance. 


Letter to Lady Conway (1661) 



And one of no lesse credit than Aristotle tells us of a 
merry River, the River Elusina, that dances at the noise 
of Musick, for with Musick it bubbles, dances, and growes 
sandy, and so continues til the musick ceases, but then it 
presently returnes to its wonted calmnesse and clearnesse. 
. . . And . . . one of no lesse authority than Josephus that 
learned Jew, tells us of a River in Judea, that runs swiftly 
all the six dayes of the week, and stands still and rests 
all their Sabbath. 


The Compleat Angler (1653) 


In another chamber are divers sorts of instruments of 
musiq : amongst other toys that of a satyre, which so arti- 
ficially expressed a human voice, with the motion of eyes 
and head, that it might easily affright one who was not 
prepared for that most extravagant sight. They shewed 
us also a chayre that catches fast any who sitts downe in 
it, so as not to be able to stirr, but, by certaine springs 
concealed in the arms and back thereoff, which at sitting 
downe surprizes a man on the suddaine, locking him in 
by the armes and thighs, after a true trecherous Italian 
guise. . . . Here stands a rare clock of German worke ; 
in a word, nothing but what is magnificent is to be scene 
in this paradise. 


Diary (Villa Borghese, Nov. 17, 1644) 


In one of these monuments Pancirollus tells us that, in the 
time of Paul III, there was found the body of a young lady, 
swimming in a kind of bath of precious oyle or liquor, 
fresh and entire as if she had been living, neither her 
face discolour'd, nor her hair disorder'd ; at her feet burnt 
a lamp, which suddenly expir'd at the opening of the 
vault; having flam'd, as was computed, now 1500 years, 
by the conjecture that she was TulHola, the daughter of 
Cicero, whose body was thus found, as the inscription 


(Fossa Nuova, Jan. 28, 1645) 




Where lives the man that never yet did heare 
Of chaste Penelope, Ulisscs* Queene ? . . . 


Homer doth tell in his aboundant verse, 
The long laborious travailes of the Man ; 
And of his lady too he doth reherse 
How shee illudes with all the art she can, 
Th' ungratefull love which other lords began ; 


All this he tells, but one thing he forgot. 
One thing most worthy his eternall song ; 
But he was old, and blind, and saw it not, 
Or else he thought he should Ulisses wrong, 
To mingle it his tragike acts among ; 

Yet was there not in all the world of things 
A sweeter burden for his Muse's wings. 


The courtly love Antinous did make : 
Antinous that fresh and jolly knight, 
Which of the gallants that did undertake 


To win the widdow, had most wealth and might, 
Wit to perswade, and beautie to delight : 

The courtly love he made unto the Queene, 

Homer forgot, as if it had not beene. 


One onely night's discourse I can report, 
When the great Torch-bearer of Heaven was gone 
Downe in a maske unto the Ocean's Court, 
To revell it with Thetis all alone ; 
Antinons disguised and unknowne, 
Like to the Spring in gaudie ornament, 
Unto the Castle of the Princesse went. 


Only Antinous when at first he view'd 
Her starbright eyes, that with new honour shind ; 
Was not dismayd, but there-with-all renew'd 
The noblesse and the splendour of his mind ; 
And as he did fit circumstances find, 

Unto the throne he boldly gan advance, 

And with faire maners wooed the Queene to dance. 


" Goddesse of women, sith your heav'nlinesse 

Hath now vouchsaft it selfe to represent 

To our dim eyes, which though they see the lesse 

Yet are they blest in their astonishment ; 

Imitate heav'n, whose beauties excellent 
Are in continuall motion day and night, 
And move thereby more wonder and delight. 


Let me the moover be, to turne about 

Those glorious ornaments, that Youth and Love 


Have fixed in you, every part throughout ; 

Which if you will in timely measure move. 

Not all those precious jemms in heav'n above, 
Shall yeeld a sight more pleasing to behold. 
With all their turnes and tracings manifold. " 


With this the modest Princesse blusht and smiPd, 
Like to a cleare and rosie eventide, 
And softly did returne this answer mild : 
" Faire Sir, you needs must fairely be denide 
Where your demaunde cannot be satisfide ; 
My feet, which onely Nature taught to goe, 
Did never yet the art of footing know. 


But why perswade you me to this new rage ? 
(For all disorder and misrule is new) 
For such misgovernmcnt in former age 
Our old divine Forefathers never knew ; . . ." 


" Sole heire of Vertue and of Beautie both, 

Whence cometh it " (Antinous replies) 

" That your imperious vertue is so loth 

To grant your beauty her chiefe excercise ? 

Or from what spring doth your opinion rise 
That dauncing is a frenzy and a rage, 
First known and us'd in this new-fangled age ? 


Dauncing (bright Lady) then began to bee, The 

When the first seeds whereof the World did spring of rS 

The fire, ayre, earth, and waterdid agree, 
By Love's perswasion, Nature's mighty King 


To leave their first disordred combating ; 
And in a daunce each measure to observe, 
As all the world their motion should preserve, 


Like this, he fram'd the gods' eternall Bower, 
And of a shapelesse and confused masse, 
By his through-piercing and digesting power, 
The turning vault of heaven formed was ; 
Whose starry wheeles he hath so made to passe, 
As that their moovings do a musicke frame, 
And they themselves still daunce unto the same. 


How justly then is Dauncing tearmcd new, 
Which with the World in point of time begun ? 
Yea Time it selfe (whose birth Jove never knew, 
And which indeed is older then the sun) 
Had not one moment of his age outrunne, 
When out leapt Dauncing from the heap of things, 
And lightly rode upon his nimble wings." . . . 


S? e mai of when Love ha(i sha pt this World, this great fairs Wight, 
Dancing That all wights else in this wide womb containes ; 
And had instructed it to daunce aright, 
A thousand measures with a thousand straines, 
Which it should practise with delightfull paines, 
Untill that fatall instant should revolve, 
When all to nothing should againe resolve : 


The comely order and proportion faire 
On every side, did please his wandring eye : 
Till glauncing through the thin transparent ayre, 
A rude disordered rout he did espie 

Of men and women, that most spightfully 
Did one another throng, and crowd so sore. 
That his kind eye in pitty wept therefore. 


And swifter then the lightning downe he came. 
Another shapelesse Chaos to digest ; 
He will begin another world to frame, 
(For Love till all be well will never rest) 
Then with such words as cannot be exprest, 

He cutts the troups, that all asunder fling, 

And ere they wist, he casts them in a ring. 


" If Sence hath not yet taught you, learne of me ^LoS 

A comely moderation and discreet ; mcnTo 

That your assemblies may well ordered bee Dancing 

When my uniting power shall make you meet, 
With heav'nly tunes it shall be tempered sweet : 
And be the modell of the World's great frame, 
And you, Earth's children, Daunting shall it name. 


Behold the World., how it is whirled round) 

And for it is so whirl'd, is named so ; 

In whose large volume many rules are found 

Of this new Art, which it doth fairely show ; 

For your quicke eyes, in wandring too and fro 
From East to West, on no one thing can glaunce, 
But if you marke it well, it seemes to daunce. 


First you see fixt in this huge mirrour blew |^f y 

Of trembling lights, a number numberlesse : Ihe'tSi 

Fixt they are nam'd, but with a name untrue, * tars ' 

For they all moove, and in a Daunce expressc 


That great long yeare, that doth containe no lesse 
Then threescore hundreds of those yeares in all. 
Which the sunne makes with his course naturall. 


Under that spangled skye, five wandring flames 
Besides the King of Day, and Queene of Night, 
Are wheel'd around, all in their sundry frames, 
And all in sundry measure doe delight, 
Yet altogether keepe no measure right ; 
For by it selfe each doth it selfe advance, 
And by it selfe each doth a galliard daunce. 


For that brave Sunne the Father of the Day, 
Doth love this Earth, the Mother of the Night ; 
And like a revellour in rich aray, 
Doth daunce his galliard in his lemman's sight, 
Both back, and forth, and sidewaies, passing light ; 
His princely grace doth so the gods amaze, 
That all stand still and at his beauty gaze. 


But see the Earth, when he approcheth neere, 
How she for joy doth spring and sweetly smile ; 
But see againe her sad and heavy cheere 
When changing places he retires a while ; 
But those blake cloudes he shortly will exile, 

And make them all before his presence flye. 

As mists consum'd before his cheereful eye. 


Who doth not see the measures of the Moone, 
Which thirteene times she daunceth every yeare ? 
And ends her pavine thirteene times as soone 
As doth her brother, of whose golden haire 


She borroweth part and proudly doth it weare ; 
Then doth she coyly turne her face aside. 
Then half her cheeke is scarse sometimes discride. 

And now behold your tender nurse the Ayre oftheAyre. 

And common neighbour that ay runs around ; 
How many pictures and impressions faire 
Within her empty regions are there found ; 
Which to your sences Dauncing doe propound. 

For what are Breath, Speech., Ecchos, Mnsicke, Winds, 

But Dauncings of the Ayre in sundry kinds ? 


And thou sweet Musicke, Dauncing's onely life. 
The eare's sole happinesse, the ayre's best speach ; 
Loadstone of fellowship, charming-rod of strife. 
The soft mind's Paradice, the sicke mind's leach ; 
With thine own tong, thou trees and stons canst teach, 
That when the Aire doth dance her finest measure, 
Then art thou borne, the gods and mens sweet pleasure. 


Lastly, where keepe the Winds their revelry, 
Their violent turnings, and wild whirling hayes, 
But in the Ayre's tralucent gallery ? 
Where shee herselfe is turnd a hundreth wayes, 
While with those Maskers wantonly she playes ; 

Yet in this misrule, they such rule embrace, 

As two at once encomber not the place. 


For loe the Sea that fleets about the Land, Of the s - 

And like a girdle clips her solid waist, 
Musicke and measure both doth understand; 
For his great chrystall eye is alwayes cast 


Up to the Moone, and on her fixed fast ; 
And as she daunceth in her pallid spheere, 
So daunceth he about his Centre heere. 


Sometimes his proud greene waves in order set, 

One after other flow into the shore ; 

Which, when they have with many kisses wet, 

They ebbe away in order as before ; 

And to make knowne his courtly love the more, 
He oft doth lay aside his three-forkt mace, 
And with his armes the timorous Earth embrace. 


Onely the Earth doth stand for ever still : 
Her rocks remove not, nor her mountaines meet : 
(Although some wits enricht with Learning's skill 
Say heav'n stands firme, and that the Earth doth fleet, 
And swiftly turneth underneath their feet) 
Yet though the Earth is ever stedfast seene, 
On her broad breast hath Dauncing ever beene. 


For those blew vaines that through her body spred, 
Those saphire streames which from great hils do spring, 
(The Earth's great duggs, for every wight is fed 
With sweet fresh moisture from them issuing) : 
Observe a daunce in their wilde wandering ; 
And still their daunce begets a murmur sweet, 
And still the murmur with the daunce doth meet. 


Of all their wayes I love Meander's path, 
Which to the tunes of dying swans doth daunce ; 
Such winding sleights, such turns and tricks he hath, 
Such creeks, such wrenches, and such daliaunce ; 


That whether it be hap or heedlesse chaunce, 
In this indented course and wriggling play 
He seemes to daunce a perfect cunning hay. 

See how those flowres that have sweet beauty too, f other 

J * things upon 

(The onely jewels that the Earth doth weare, the edrth - 

When the young Sunne in bravery her doth woo) : 
As oft as they the whistling wind doe heare, 
Doe wave their tender bodies here and there ; 

And though their daunce no perfect measure is 3 

Yet oftentimes their musicke makes them kis. 


But why relate I every singular ? 

Since all the World's great fortunes and affaires 

Forward and backward rapt and whirled are. 

According to the musicke of the spheares : 

And Chaunge herself her nimble feete upbeares : 
On a round slippery wheele that rowleth aye, 
And turnes all States with her imperious sway. 


Learnc then to daunce, you that are Princes borne, 

And lawfull lords of earthly creatures all ; 

Imitate them, and therof take no scorne, 

For this new art to them is naturall 

And imitate the starres celestial! : 

For when pale Death your vital twist shall sever, 
Your better parts must daunce with them for ever." 


Thus Love perswadcs, and all the crowde of men 
That stands around, doth make a murmuring ; 
As when the wind loosed from his hollow den 
Among the trees a gentle base doth sing, 


Or as a brooke through pebbles wandering ; 
But in their looks they uttered this plain speach, 
That they would learn to daunce, if Love would teach 


Rounds or Thus when at first Love had them marshalled, 
Dances. As earst he did the shapelesse masse of things, 

He taught them rounds and winding heyes to tread, 
And about trees to cast themselves in rings : 
As the two Beares, whom the First Mover flings 
With a short turn about heaven's axeltree, 
In a round daunce for ever wheeling be. 


Lavoitaes. Yet is there one, the most dclightfull kind, 
A loftie jumping, or a leaping round ; 
Where arme in arme two dauncers are entwind 
And whirle themselves with strict embracements bound, 
And still their feet an anapest do sound ; 
An anapest is all their musick's song, 
Whose first two feet are short, and third is long. 


As the victorious twinnes of Loeda and Jove 
That taught the Spartans dauncing on the sands 
Of swift Eurotas, daunce in heavn above, 
Knit and united with eternall hands ; 
Among the starres their double image stands, 
Where both are carried with an equall pace, 
Together jumping in their turning race. 

7 6. 

Thus Love taught men, and men thus learn'd of Love 
Sweet Musick's sound with feet to counterfaite ; . , . 


Since when all ceremonious misteries, 
All sacred orgies and religious rights, 

All pomps, and triumphs, and solemnities, 7 he use * nd 

r r > r > y formes of 

All funerals, nuptials, and like publike sights, ^unSr 1 " 8 m 

All Parliaments of peace, and warlike fights, affaires of 

r rr mai1 S llfe< 

All learned arts, and every great anaire 
A lively shape of dauncing seems to beare. 


For after townes and kingdomes founded were, 
Betweene greate States arose well-ordered War ; 
Wherein most perfect measure doth appeare, 
Whether their well-set ranks respected are 
In quadrant forme or semicircular : 

Or else the march, when all the troups advance, 

And to the drum, in gallant order daunce. 


And after Warrs, when white-wing'd Victory 
Is with a glorious tryumph beautified, 
And every one doth lo lo cry, 
Whiles all in gold the conquerour doth ride ; 
The solemne pompe that fils the Citty wide 

Observes such ranke and measure everywhere, 

As if they altogether dauncing were. 


The Quecne, whose dainty cares had borne too long 
The tedious praise of that she did despise ; 
Adding once more the musicke of the tongue 
To the sweet speech of her alluring eyes, 
Began to answer in such winning wise, 

As that forthwith Antinous* tongue was tyde, 

His eyes fast fixt, his earcs were open wide. 


" Forsooth " (quoth she\ " great glory you have won 
To your trim minion, Dauncing, all this while, 
By blazing him Love's first begotten sonnc ; . . . 



What meane the mermayds when they daunce and sing 

But certaine death unto the marriner ? 

What tydings doe the dauncing dilphins bring, 

But that some dangerous storme approcheth nere ? 

Then sith both Love and Dauncing lyveries beare 

Of such ill hap, unhappy may I prove, 

If sitting free, I either daunce or love." 

Yet once again Antinous did reply ; . . . 


" Love in the twinckling of your eylids daunceth, 
Love daunceth in your pulses and your vaines, 
Love when you sow, your needle's point advanceth 
And makes it daunce a thousand curious straines 
Of winding rounds, whereof the forme remaines ; 
To shew, that your faire hands can daunce the hey, 
Which your fine feet would learne as well as they. 


If they whom sacred Love hath link't in one, 
Doe as they daunce, in all their course of life, 
Never shall burning griefe nor bitter mone, 
Nor factious difference, nor unkind strife, 
Arise between the husband and the wife ; 
For whether forth or bake or round he goe, 
As the man doth, so must the woman doc. 


Who sees an Armie all in ranke advance, 
But seemes a wise Commaunder is in place, 
Which leadeth on that brave victorious daunce ? 
Much more in Dauncing's Art, in Dauncing's grace, 

1 60 

Blindness it selfe may Reason's footstep trace ; 
For of Love's maze it is the curious plot, 
And of Man's fellowship the true-love knot. 


But if these eyes of yours, (load-starrs of Love, 
Shewing the World's great daunce to your mind's eye !) 
Cannot with all their demonstrations move 
Kinde apprehension in your fantasie, 
Of Dauncing's vertue and nobilitie ; 

How can my barbarous tongue win you there to. 
Which Heav'n and Earth's faire speech could never do ? 


O Love my king : if all my wit and power 
Have done you all the service that they can, 
O be you present in this present hower, 
And help your servant and your true Leige-man 
End that perswasion which I earst began ; 
For who in praise of Dauncing can perswade 
With such sweet force as Love, which Dancing made ? " 
SIR JOHN DAVIES, Orchestra (1594) 


COMUS enters with a Charming Rod in one hand, his 
Glass in the other, with him a rout of Monsters, headed 
like sundry sorts of wilde Beasts, but otherwise like Men 
and Women, their Apparel glistering, they come in making 
a riotous and unruly noise, with Torches in their hands. 

The Star that bids the Shepherd fold, 
Now the top of Heav'n doth hold, 
FP 161 

And the gilded Car of Day, 
His glowing Axle doth allay 
In the steep Atlantick stream, 
And the slope Sun his upward beam 
Shoots against the dusky Pole, 
Pacing toward the other gole 
Of his Chamber in the East. 
Mean while welcom Joy, and Feast, 
Midnight shout, and revelry, 
Tipsie dance, and Jollity. 
Braid your Locks with rosie Twine 
Dropping odours, dropping Wine. 
Rigor now is gon to bed, 
And Advice with scrupulous head, 
Strict Age, and sowre Severity, 
With their grave Saws in slumber lie. 
We that are of purer fire 
Imitate the Starry Quire, 
Who in their nightly watchfull Sphears, 
Lead in swift round the Months and Years. 
The Sounds, and Seas with all their finny drove 
Now to the Moon in wavering Morrice move, 
And on the Tawny Sands and Shelves, 
Trip the pert Fairies and the dapper Elves ; 
By dimpled Brook, and Fountain brim. 
The Wood-Nymphs deckt with Daisies trim, 
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep : 
What hath night to do with sleep ? . . . 
Com, knit hands, and beat the ground, 
In a light fantastick round. . . . 
The LADY enters. 

This way the noise was, if mine ear be true, 

My best guide now, me thought it was the sound 
Of Riot, and ill-manag'd Merriment, 
Such as the jocund Flute, or gamesom Pipe 
Stirs up among the loosse unletter'd Hinds, 
When for their teeming Flocks, and granges full 
In wanton dance they praise the bounteous Pan, 
And thank the gods amiss. I should be loath 
To meet the rudeness, and swill'd insolence 
Of such late Wassailers. 


Comus (1634) 


Now it chanced that those of the wooers pleased him most 
who had come from Athens, and of these Hippocleides 
the son of Tisander was rather preferred, both by reason 
of manly virtues and also because he was connected by 
descent with the family of Kypselos at Corinth. Then 
when the appointed day came for the marriage banquet 
and for Clcisthcnes himself to declare whom he selected 
from the whole number, Cleisthenes sacrificed a hundred 
oxen and feasted both the wooers themselves and all the 
people of Sikyon ; and when the dinner was over, the 
wooers began to vie with one another both in music and 
in speeches for the entertainment of the company ; and 
as the drinking went forward and Hippocleides was very 
much holding the attention of the others, he bade the 
flute-player play for him a dance-measure ; and when the 
flute-player did so, he danced : and it so befell that he 
pleased himself in his dancing, but Cleisthenes looked on 
at the whole matter with suspicion. Then Hippocleides 

after a certain time bade one bring in a table ; and when 
the table came in, first he danced upon it Laconian figures, 
and then also Attic, and thirdly he planted his head upon 
the table and gesticulated with his legs. Cleisthenes mean- 
while, when he was dancing the first and second time, 
though he abhorred the thought that Hippocleides should 
now become his son-in-law, because of his dancing and 
his shamelessness, yet restrained himself, not desiring to 
break out in anger against him ; but when he saw that he 
thus gesticulated with his legs, he was no longer able to 
restrain himself, but said : " Thou hast danced away thy 
marriage, nevertheless, son of Tisander ! " and Hippo- 
cleides answered and said " Hippocleides cares not ! " 
and hence comes this saying. 


History (5th cent. B.C.) 
Trans. G. C. Macaulay 


Or Faerie Elves, 

Whose midnight Revels, by a Forrest side 
Or Fountain some belated Peasant sees, 
Or dreams he sees, while over head the Moon 
Sits Arbitress, and neerer to the Earth 
Wheels her pale course, they on thir worth and dance 
Intent, with jocond Music charm his ear ; 
At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds. 


Paradise Lost, Book I (1667) 


The first mundaye in Lent . . . my selfe, thats I, otherwise 
called Cavaliero Kemp, head-master of Morrice-dancers 
. . . began frolickly to foote it from the right honourable 
the Lord Mayors of London towards the right worshipfull 
(and truely bountifull) Master Mayors of Norwich. My 
setting forward was somewhat before seaven in the morn- 
ing ; my Taberer stroke up merrily ; and as fast as kinde 
people thronging together would give me leave, thorow 
London I leapt. 

[And so to Norwich in nine days.] 


Nine Dales Wonder (1600) 

Hey ! who comes heere ail-along. 

With bag-piping and drumming ? 

'Tis the Morris daunce a-comming. 

Come., come, ladies, come ladies out ; 

O ! come, come quickly, 

And see how trim they daunce, how trim and trickly. 

Hey ! there againe, there again ; hey ho there agayne 
Hey ! there againe, how the bells they shake it, 
Now for our town once, and take it. 
Soft awhile, not so fast ; they melt them : 
What ho Piper ! Piper be hang'd awhile : 
Knave, scest not the dauncers how they swelt them ? 
Out there awhile you come : I say you are too farr in ; 
There, give the hobby horse more room to play in. 


Madrigalh to four e Voyces (1594) 


When thou dos't dance the Spheares doe play, 
By Night Starrs torches. Sunn by day 
Each stepp soe loath to wrong thy Birth, 
Affraide to hurt thy Mother Earth, 
The tender blades of Grass when thou 
dos't dance upon them doe not bowe. 

The falling dew to doth thee Wooe 
When tripps't on it scarse wetts thy shoe, 
Then Lady like doth Change thy minde 
and Dances on the Wavering wind 

The thynner Ayre strives thine to meete 

to Tread it with thy Gentle feete. 


When thou dost dance (before 1687) 



Tis now a time when (Zephyrus) all with dancing 

Honor me, above day my state advancing. 

lie now be frolicke, all is full of hart, 

And ev'n these trees for joy shall beare a part : 

Zephyrus they shall dance. 

Daunce, Goddesse ? how ? 

Seemes that so full of strangenes to you now ? 

Did not the Thracian harpe long since the same ? 

And (if we ripp the ould records of fame) 

Did not Amphions lyre the deafe stones call. 
When they came dancing to the Theban wall ? . . . 
Dauncing, and musicke must prepare the way, 
Ther's little tedious time in such delay. 

This spoken^ the foure SILVANS played on their instru- 
ments the first straine of this song following : . . . the 
trees of gould . . . began to move., and dance according 
to the measure of the time which the musitians kept in 
singing . . . 

Move now with measured sound 
You charmed grove of gould. 
Trace forth the sacred ground 
That shall your formes unfold. 

Diana, and the starry night for your Apollos sake 
Endue your Silvan shapes with powre this strange 

delight to make 
Much joy must needs the place betide where trees for 

gladnes move, 
A fairer sight was nere beheld, or more expressing love, 

Yet neerer Phoebus throne 
Mete on your winding waies, 
Your Brydall mirth make knowne 
In your high-graced Hayes. 

Let Hymen lead your sliding rounds, and guide them 

with his light, 

While we do lo Hymen sing in honour of this night 
Joyne three by three, for so the night by triple spel 

Now to release Apollos knights from these enchanted 



This dancing-song being ended, the goulden trees stood in 
rankes three by three 

Tell me, gentle howre of night 

Wherein dost thou most delight ? 

Not in sleepe . . . wherein then ? 

In the frolicke vew of men ? 

Lovest thou musicke ? Howre. O, tis sweet. 

Whats daunting ? Howre. Ev'n the mirth of feete. 

Joy you in Fayries and in elves ? 

We are of that sort our selves. THQMAS CAMpION 

Maske . . . in honour of the Lord Hayes, and his Bride 



After Skiddaw we walked to Ireby, the oldest market town 
in Cumberland, where we were greatly amused by a coun- 
try dancing-school holden at the Tun ; it was indeed no 
new cotillon fresh from France; No, they kickit and jumpit 
with mettle extraordinary, and whiskit and friskit, and 
toed it and go'd it, and twirl'd it and whirPd it, and 
stamped it and sweated it, tatooing the floor like mad. The 
difference between our country dances and these Scottish 
figures is about the same as leisurely stirring a cup o' tea 
and beating up a batter pudding. I was extremely gratified 
to think that, if I had pleasures they knew nothing of, 
they had also some into which I could not possibly 


Letter to Thomas Keats (1818) 



Now if I would be rich, I could be a prince. I could goe 
into Maryland, which is one of the finest countrys of the 
world ; same climate with France ; between Virginia and 
New England. I can have all the favour of my lord Balte- 
more I could wish. His brother is his lieutenant there, 
and a very good natured gentleman. Plenty of all things : 
ground there is 2000 miles westwards. 

I could be able I believe to carry a colony of rogues ; 
another of ingeniose artificers ; and I doubt not one might 
make a shift to have 5 or 6 ingeniose companions, which 
is enough. 


Brief Lives : William Butler (c. 1680) 


I sometimes feel a little uneasy about that imagined self 
of mine the Me of my daydreams who leads a melo- 
dramatic life of his own, quite unrelated to my real exist- 
ence. So one day I shadowed him down the street. He 


loitered along for a while, and then stood at a shop-window 
and dressed himself out in a gaudy tie and yellow waistcoat. 
Then he bought a great sponge and two stuffed birds and 
took them to lodgings, where he led for a while a shady 
existence. Next he moved to a big house in Mayfair, and 
gave grand dinner-parties, with splendid service and costly 
wines. His amorous adventures in this region I pass over. 
He soon sold his house and horses, dismissed his retinue of 
servants, and went saving two young ladies from being 
run over on the way to live a life of heroic self-sacrifice 
among the poor. 

I was beginning to feel encouraged about him, when 
in passing a fishmongers, he pointed with his stick at a 
great salmon and said, " I caught that fish." 


Trivia (1918) 



The King appointed Doctor Donne to waite on him at 
dinner the next day ; and his Majesty (being set down) 
before he eat any meat, said (after his pleasant manner) 
Doctor Donne, I have invited you to dinner, and though 
you sit not downe with me, yet I will carve to you of a dish 


that I know you love ; you love London well,, I doe there- 
fore make you Deane of Pauls, and) when I have dined, take 
your meate home to your study, say grace, and much good 
may it doe you. 


The Life and Death of Dr. Donne (1640) 



Damnosa quid non imminuit dies ? 
Aetas parentum, peior avis, tulit 
Nos nequiores, mox daturos 
Progeniem vitiosiorem. 

In Romanes moribus corruptos. Carmina, Bk III 

(C. 20 B.C.) 


Which very absurdity is daily committed amonst us, even 
in the esteem and censure of our own times. And to speak 
impartially, old Men, from whom we should expect the 


greatest example of Wisdom, do most exceed in this point 
of folly ; commending the days of their youth, which 
they scarce remember, at least well understood not ; 
extolling those times their younger ears have heard their 
Fathers condemn, and condemning those times the gray 
heads of their posterity shall commend. And thus is it the 
humour of many heads, to extol the days of their Fore- 
fathers, and declaim against the wickedness of times pre- 
sent. Which notwithstanding they cannot handsomly do, 
without the borrowed help and Satyrs of times past ; 
condemning the vices of their own times, by the expres- 
sions of vices in times which they commend ; which cannot 
but argue the community of vice in both. 


Pseudodoxia Epidemica (1646) 

ARE Now 

Consider with thy selfe (gentle Reader) the olde discipline 
of Englande, mark what we were before, and what we are 
now : . . . cast thine eye backe to thy Predecessors, and tell 
mee ho we wonderfully wee have beene chaunged, since wee 
were schooled with these abuses. Dion sayth, that english 
men could suffer watching and labor, hunger and thirst, 
and beare of al stormes with hed and shoulders, they used 
slender weapons, went naked, and were good soldiours, 
they fed uppon rootes and barkes of trees, they would 
stand up to the chin many dayes in marishes without 
victualles : and they had a kind of sustenaunce in time of 
neede, of which if they had taken but the quantitie of a 


beane, or the weight of a pease, they did neyther gape after 
meate, nor long for the cuppe, a great while after. The 
men in valure not yeelding to Scithia, the women in cour- 
age passing the Amazons. The exercise of both was shoot- 
yng and dancing, running and wrestling, and trying such 
maisteries, as eyther consisted in swiftnesse of feete, 
agilitie of body, strength of armes, or Martiall discipline. 
But the exercise that is nowe among us, is banqueting, 
playing, pipyng, and dauncing, and all suche delightes as 
may win us to pleasure, or rocke us a sleepe. 

Oh what a woonderfull chaunge is this ? Our wreastling 
at armes is turned to wallowyng in Ladies laps, our 
courage, to cowardice, our running to ryot, our Bowes 
into Bolles, and our Dartes to Dishes. We have robbed 
Greece of Gluttonie, Italy of wantonnesse, Spaine of pride, 
Fraunce of deceite, and Dutchland of quaffing. Compare 
London to Rome, and England to Italy, you shall finde the 
Theaters of the one, the abuses of the other, to be rife 
among us. Experto crede, I have scene somewhat, and 
therefore I thinke may say the more. STEPHEN GOSSON 

The Schoole of Abuse (1579) 


Hitherto will our sparkefull Youth laugh at their great 

grandfathers English, who had more care to do wel than to 

speake minion-like, and left more glorie to us by their 

exploiting of great actes, than we shall doe by our forging 

anew words and uncouth phrases. WILLIAM CAMDEN 

Remains concerning Britain (1605) 



. . . We flourish! long, 

E're idle Gentry up in such aboundance sprong, 
Now pestring all this He : whose disproportion drawes 
The publique wealth so drie, and only is the cause 
Our gold goes out so faste, for foolish foraine things 
Which upstart Gentry still into our Country brings ; 
Who their insatiate pride seek chiefly to maintaine 
By that, which only serves to uses vile and vaine : 
Which our plaine Fathers earst would have accounted 


Before the costly Coach, and silken stock came in ; 
Before that Indian weed so strongly was imbrac't ; 
Wherein such mighty summes we prodigally waste ; 
That Merchants long train'd up in gayn's deceitfull 

And subtly having learn'd to soothe the humorous 


Present their painted toyes unto this frantique gull. 
Disparaging our Tinne, our Leather, Corne, and Wooll ; 
When Forrainers, with ours them cloath and feed, 
Transporting trash to us, of which we nere had need. 
But whilst the angry Muse thus on the Time 


Sith every thing therin consisteth in extreames. 
Lest she inforc't with wrongs her limits should trans - 

Here of this present Song she briefly makes an end. 


Poly-Olbion. Song XVI 



'Tis strange to see the folly that possesses the young 
People of this Age., and the libertys they take to them- 
selv's; I have the Charrity to beleeve they appear very 
much worse than they are, and that the want of a Court to 
govern themselv's by is in great part the cause of theire 
Ruine ; Though that was noe perfect scoole of Vertue, yet 
Vice there wore her maske, and apeard soe unlike herselfe 
that she gave noe scandall. Such as were realy as discreet as 
they seem'd to bee, gave good Example, and the Eminency 
of theire condition made others strive to imitate them, or 
at least they durst not owne a contrareary course. All who 
had good principles and inclinations were incouraged in 
them, and such as had neither were forced to put on a 
handsome disguise that they might not bee out of counten- 
ance at themselves. DOROTHY OSBORNE 

Letter to Sir William Temple (1654) 


Plain poetry is now disesteem'd, it must be Drollery, or it 

will not please. HENRY HERRINGMANj bookseller 

Preface to Musarum Deliciae (1655) 


'Tis opportune to look back upon old times, and contem- 
plate our Forefathers. Great examples grow thin, and to 

be fetched from the passed world * Simplicity flies away, 
and iniquity comes at long strides upon us. 


Epistle Dedicatory to Hydrotaphia (1658) 


A reason why learning hath decayed in these late r time* 
and now, is the nation of England her too much admiring 
the manners and fashions of the French nation, when as 
there is not a gentleman of a considerable estate in Eng- 
land but must have a French man or woman to breed up 
their children after their way. . . . 

A neglect now of the Fathers and none but foolish vaine 
and florid preaching. One that discoursed! in company 
scolar-like (viz. by quoting the Fathers, producing an 
antient verse from the poets suitable to his discours) is 
accounted pedanticall and pedagogicall. Nothing but news 
and the affaires of Christendom is discoursed off, and that 
also generally at coffee-houses. And clubbs at alehouses 
and coffee houses have not bin up above 14 years before 
this time. . . . 

Decay of learning. Before the warr wee had scholars 
that made a thorough search in scholasticall and polemicall 
divinity, in humane authors, and naturall philosophy. But 
now scholars studie these things not more than what is 
just necessary to carry them throug the exercises their 
respective colleges and the Universitie. Their aime is not to 
live as students ought to do, viz. temperat, abstemious, 
and plaine and grave in apparell ; but to live like gents, to 

keep dogs and horses, to turne their studies and coleholes 
into places to receive bottles, to swash it in apparell, to 
weare long periwigs, etc., and the theologists to ride 
abroad in grey coats with swords by their sides. 

The masters have lost their respect by being themselves 
scandalous and keeping company with undergraduates. 

Fresh nights, caroling in public halls, Christmas 
sports, vanished, 1661. 


Life and Times (Dec, 1661) 


An age wherein a zealous concernment in studies is laught 
at and many wonder at the folly of those before the warr 
time that spent so much time and broke their braines in 
schol. divinity and metaphis. This folly of laughing at 
continued wors and worse till 1679. ... An age given to 
brutish pleasure and atheisme. . . . This year [1662] such 
a saying come up in London, " The Bishops get all, the 
Courtiers spend all, the Citizens pay for all, the King 
neglects all, and the Divells take all/' 



When I was a youth many great persons travelled with 
3 horses, butt now there is a new face of things. 


Letter to his son Edward (1680) 


In those days (Elizabetha regina) . . . when a senator went 
to the Parliament-house a-foote, or a horse-back with his 
foot-cloath, he had at his heeles a dozen or 10 tall 
fellowes with blew coates and badges and long basket-hilt 
swords. Now forsooth only a laquey and a little spitt-pig. 

The advantage that king Charles I had : gentlemen then 
kept good horses, and many horses for a man-at-armes., 
and men that could ride them ; hunting-horses. Now we 
are come all to our coaches forsooth ! . . . Now young men 
are so farre from managing good horses, they know not 
how to ride a hunting nag nor handle their weapons. . . . 

In Sir Philip Sidney's time 'twas as much disgrace for a 
cavalier to be seen in London rideing in a coach in the 
street as now 'twould be to be seen in a petticoate and 
wastcoate. They rode in the streets then with their rich 
foot-cloathes, and servants wayting on them with blewe 
coates and badge. . . . 

T.T., an old gentleman that remembers Queen Eliza- 
beth's raigne and court. ... He hath seen much in his time 
both at home and abroade; and with much choler in- 
veighes against things now : " Alas ! o' God's will ! 
Now-a-dayes every one, forsooth ! must have coaches, 
forsooth ! In those dayes gentlemen kept horses for a 
man-at-armes, besides their hackney and hunting-horses. 
This made the gentry robust and hardy and fitt for ser- 
vice ; were able to be their owne guides in case of a rout 
or so, when occasion should so require. 

Our gentry forsooth in these dayes are so effeminated 
that they know not how to ride on horseback. Then when 
the gentry mett,it was not at a poor blind sordid ale-house, 

to drinke up a barrel) of drinke and lie drunke there two 
or three dayes together ; fall together by the eares. 
They mett then in the fields, well-appointed, with their 
hounds or their hawkes ; kept up good hospitality ; and 
kept a good retinue, that would venture that bloud and 
spirit that filled their vaines which their masters' tables 
nourisht ; kept their tenants in due respect of them. We 
had no depopulacion in those dayes. 

You see in me the ruines of time. The day is almost at 
end with me, and truly I am glad of it : I desire not to live 
in this corrupt age. I foresawe and fortold the late changes, 
and now easily foresee what will follow after. Alas ! o' 
God's will ! It was not so in Queen Elizabeth's time : then 
youth had respect to old age. 

Revels then the elders and better sort of the parish 
sate and beheld the pastimes of the young men, as wrast- 
ling, shooting at butts, bowling, and dancing. All this is 
now lost ; and pride, whoring, wantonnesses, and drunken- 
nesses. Then the charity of the feast, St Peter's box, 
mantayned the old impotent poore." 


Brief Lives : Thomas Tyndale (c. 1680) 


About 1638 or 1640, when he was at Trinity College, 
Dr Kettle, preaching as he was wont to do on Trinity Sun- 
day, told 'em that they should keepe their bodies chast 
and holy : " but," said he, " you fellows of the College here 
eate good commons and drinke good double-beer. ..." 


How would the good old Dr. have raunted and beat-up 
his kettle-drum, if he should have seen such luxury in 
the college as there is now ! Tempora mutantur ! 

Ralph Kettell 


Meredith Lloyd tells me that, three or 400 yeares ago, 
chymistry was in a greater perfection, much, than now ; 
their process was then more seraphique and universall : 
now they looke only after medicines. 

Brief Lives : Saint Dunstan (c. 1680) 


What a wretched Pass is this wicked Age come to, when 
Ben. Johnson and Shakespear won't go down with 'em, 
without these Baubles to recommend 'em, and nothing but 
Farce and Grimaces will go down. ... In short, Mr Collier 
may save himself the trouble of writing against the 
Theatres, for, if these lewd Practices are not laid aside, 
and Sence and Wit come in play again, a Man may easily 
foretell, without pretending to the Gift of Prophesie, 
that the Stage will be short-hVd. 


Letter to Mr Moult (1699) 


I know it is reckoned but a form of speech, when Divines 
complain of the Wickedness of the Age. However, I 
believe, upon a fair Comparison with other Times and 
countries, it would be found an undoubted Truth. 


Project for the Advancement of Religion 
and Reformation of Manners (1709) 


It hath been an old custom in Oxford for the scholars of 
all houses, on Shrove Tuesday, to go to dinner at ten clock, 
(at which time the little bell, called pan-cake bell., rings, 
or at least should ring, at St Maries), . . . and it was always 
followed in Edmund hall, as long as I have been in Oxford, 
till yesterday, when they went to dinner at twelve, and to 
supper at six, nor were there any fritters at dinner, as 
there used always to be. When laudable old customs 
alter, 'tis a sign learning dwindles. THOMAS HEARNE 

Diary (Feb. 27, 1723) 


HARDCASTLE : In my time, the follies of the town crept 
slowly among us, but now they travel faster than a stage- 
coach. . . . 

MRS HARDCASTLE : Ay, your times were fine times indeed ; 
you have been telling us of them for many a long year. 


Here we live in an old rambling mansion, that looks for 
all the world like an inn, but that we never see company 
. . . and all our entertainment your old stories of Prince 
Eugene and the Duke of Marlborough. I hate such old- 
fashioned trumpery ! 

HARD : And I love it. I love every thing that's old : old 
friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines ; 
and, I believe, Dorothy you'll own I have been pretty 
fond of an old wife. OLIVER GOLDSMITH 

She Stoops to Conquer (1772) 


English living poets I have avoided mentioning ; we have 
none who will not survive their productions. Taste is 
over with us ; and another century will sweep our Empire, 
our literature, and our name, from all but a place in the 
annals of mankind. LORD BYRON 

Memorandum (1807) 


I am delighted with your approbation of my " Cenci." 
... I confess I cannot approve of the squeamishness 
which excludes the exhibition of such subjects from the 
scene, a squeamishness the produce, as I firmly believe, 
of a lower tone of the public mind, and foreign to the 
majestic and confident wisdom of the golden age of our 
country. P . B . SHELLEY 

Letter to Thomas Medwin (1819) 


No-one can describe the splendour and excitement of the 
early days of Crockford's. A supper of the most exquisite 
kind . . . was provided gratis. The members of the Club 
included all the celebrities of England . . . and at the gay 
and festive board . . . the most brilliant sallies of wit, the 
most agreeable conversation, the most interesting anec- 
dotes, interspersed with grave political discussions and 
acute logical reasoning on every conceivable subject, 
proceeded from the soldiers., scholars, statesmen, poets, 
and men of pleasure The tone of the Club was excellent. 
A most gentlemanlike feeling prevailed, and none of the 
rudeness, familarity, and ill-breeding, which disgrace some 
of the minor clubs of the present day, would have been 
tolerated for a moment. 


Reminiscences, 1 810-60 (1861) 


How astonished and horror-struck would be the great 
ladies of the Restoration [of the Bourbons] if they could 
rise from their graves and behold their granddaughters 
emulating the demi-monde in their dress, language and 
manners ; affichant their liaisons in the sight of the sun ; 
walking into their lovers' houses unveiled, undisguised, 
or riding with them publicly, and having their carriages 
called under their own names at the restaurants or small 
theatres where they have been tete-^-tete ! 

The dignified, artful, proud, but perhaps not more 
virtuous grandmother would have been unutterably 
disgusted, not so much at the immorality as at the bad 
taste displayed in such arrangements, which then existed 
just as much as now, but were supposed to be unknown. 



The last time I saw Southey was on an evening at Taylor's 
[1839]. . . . We sat on the sofa together; our talk was long 
and earnest ; topic ultimately the usual one, steady approach 
of democracy, with revolution (probably explosive) and a 
finis incomputable to man steady decay of all morality, 
political, social, individual, this once noble England 
getting more and more ignoble and untrue in every fibre 
of it, till the gold . . . would all be eaten out, and noble 
England would have to collapse in shapeless ruin, whether 
for ever or not none of us could know. Our perfect con- 
sent on these matters gave an animation to the Dialogue, 
which I remember as copious and pleasant. Southey's last 
word was in answer to some tirade of mine about universal 
Mammon-worship, gradual accelerating decay of mutual 
humanity, of piety and fidelity to God or man, in all 
our relations, performances the whole illustrated by 
examples, I suppose to which he answered, not with 
levity, yet with a cheerful tone in his seriousness, " It 
will not, and it cannot, come to good " ! 


Reminiscences (1867) 


Again, as the train drew out of the station, the old 
gentleman pulled out of his pocket his great shining 
watch ; and for the fifth, or as it seemed to me, the five 
hundredth, time, he said . . . " To the minute, to the very 
minute ! It's a marvellous thing, the railway ; a wonderful 
age ! " 

Now I had long been annoyed by the old gentleman's 
smiling face, platitudes, and piles of newspapers ; I had 
no love for the Age ; and an impulse came on me to de- 
nounce it. 

" Allow me to tell you," I said, " that I consider it a 
wretched, an ignoble age. Where's the greatnesl of Life, 
where's dignity, leisure, stateliness ; where's Art and 
Eloquence ? Where are your great scholars, statesmen ? 
Let me ask you, Sir," I cried, glaring at him, " where's 
your Gibbon, your Burke or Chatham ? " 


Trivia (1918) 


" England," said my friend, " in spite of everything, is 
probably a happier country to-day than it has ever been 
in history." The sun was shining at the moment, a lark 
was singing above a buttercup meadow with a stream 
winding through it, and an invisible cuckoo was shouting 

over a distant wood ; but even so I wondered if he could 
be serious. I do not object to a man's saying that people 
are happier now than they were in the Middle Ages . . . 
or at any other period until the last quarter of the nine- 
teenth century ; but the notion that the world had im- 
proved within living memory was so novel that, if the 
sun had not been so pleasantly warm, and the wind on our 
brows so pleasantly cool, I should have dismissed it with 
derision. Who that has once been young and now is middle- 
aged can have failed to observe the steady deterioration 
of the world in so far as men and women have altered it ? 
I do not wish to indict the present age, but it is an age 
that has invaded our peaceful age with garish petrol 
pumps, with the odious odours of motor-bicycles, with 
bungalows, with the dance-music of St. Vitus, with 
charabancs, with doubts, with psycho-analysis, with 
high taxation, with standardization of everything from 
tobacco to opinions, with advertisement and self-advertise- 
ment, with paint and powder, with prohibitions more 

puzzling than the riddle of the Sphinx, with But 

even if I continued the catalogue for a column, it would 
be impossible to convey to an inhabitant of the present 
age what an inhabitant of a past age thinks of all the 
changes that have come over the world since Queen 
Victoria celebrated her Jubilee. 


Happy England (1930) 




He Richard Corbet was a student ... of Christ-church in 
Oxford. He was very facetious, and a good fellowe. One 
time he and some of his acquaintance being merry at Fryar 
Bacon's study (where was good liquor sold) they were 
drinking on the leads of the house, and one of the scholars 
was asleepe, and had a paire of good silke stockings on. 
Dr Corbet (then M.A., if not B.D.) gott a paire of cizers 
and cutt them full of little holes. 


Brief Lives : Richard Corbet (c. 1680) 


When Oxford was surrendred (24 Junii 1646) the first 
thing generall Fairfax did was to sett a good guard of 
soldiers to preserve the Bodleian Library. 'Tis said there 
was more hurt done by the cavaliers (during their garri- 
son) by way of embezilling and cutting-off chaines of 
bookes, than there was since. He was a lover of learning, 
and had he not taken this speciall care, that noble library 

had been utterly destroyed ... for there were ignorant 
senators enough who would have been contented to have 

had it so. 


Brief Lives : Thomas Fairfax (c. 1680) 


Petronius, late Consull of Rome, when he lay at the 
point of death, called for a faire broad-mouthed cup of 
Cassidoine, which had cost him before-time three hundred 
thousand sesterces, and presently brake it in pieces, in 
hatred and despight of Nero, for feare lest the same prince 
might have seazed upon it after his desease, and therewith 
furnished his own boards. 


Natural History (c. 77) 
Trans. Philemon Holland (1601) 


Sudbury, Jan. 9, 1643. We broke down 10 mighty great 
Angels in Glass, in all 80. 

Haverhill, Jan. 6. We brake down about a hundred 
superstitious Pictures ; and seven Fryars hugging a Nunn ; 
and the picture of God and Christ, and divers others very 

Clare, Jan. 6. We brake down 1000 Pictures superstitious ; 
I brake down 200 ; 3 of God the Father, and 3 of Christ, 
and the Holy Lamb, and 3 of the Holy Ghost like a Dove 


with Wings ; and the 12 Apostles were carvd in Wood, on 
the top of the Roof, which we gave orders to be taken 
down ; and the Sun and Moon in the East Window, by 
the King's Arms, to be taken down. 
Dunstall, Jan. 23. We broke down 60 superstitious Pic- 
tures : and broke in pieces the Rails ; and gave orders to 
pull down the Steps. 

Otley, Feb. 27. A Deputy brake down 50 superstitious 
Pictures ; a Cross on the Chancel, 2 Brass Inscriptions ; 
and Moses with a Rod, and Aaron with his Mitre, taken 
down : and 20 Cherubims to be broke down. etc. etc. 


Suffolk Journal (1643-4) 


Her mind was still uneasy about The Scented Garden, and 
she took out the manuscript to examine it. ... When she 
opened it, she was perfectly bewildered and horrified. . . . 
Calming herself, she reflected that the book was written 
only for scholars and mainly for Oriental students, and that 
her husband Cv never wrote a thing from the impure 
point of view." . . . Then she looked up, and there before 
her stood her husband, just as he had stood in the flesh. 
He pointed to the manuscript, and said " Burn it ! " Then 
he disappeared. As she had for years been a believer in 
spirits, the apparition did not surprise her, and yet she was 
tremendously excited. " Burn it ! " she echoed. " This 
valuable manuscript ? At which he laboured for so many 
weary hours ? Yet, doubtless, it would be wrong to 
preserve it ... What a gentleman, a scholar, and a man of 


the world, may write when living, he would see very 
differently as a poor soul standing naked before its God. 
. . . What would he care for the applause of fifteen 
hundred men now for the whole world's praise, and God 
offended ? And yet the book is for students only. ..." 

At this moment the apparition again stood before her, 
and in a sterner and more authoritative voice said, " Burn 
it ! " and then again disappeared. In her excitement she 
scarcely knew where she was, or what she did. . . . 

Then for the third time Sir Richard stood before her. 
Again he sternly bade her burn the manuscript, and, 
having added threatenings to his command, he again 
disappeared. By this time her excitement had passed 
away, and a holy joy irradiated her soul. She took up the 
manuscript and . . . burnt it, sheet after sheet, until the 
whole was consumed. As each leaf was licked up by the 
fire, it seemed to her that " a fresh ray of light and peace " 
transfused the soul of her beloved husband. 


Life of Sir Richard Burton (1906) 


It is suspected that our historical antiquary, Speed, owed 
many obligations to the learned Hugh Broughton, for he 
possessed a vast number of his MSS. which he burnt. 
. . . We have had historians who, whenever they met with 
information which has not suited their historical system, 
or their inveterate prejudices, have employed interpola- 
tions, castrations, and forgeries, and in some cases have 
annihilated the entire document. . . . Among these 


suppressors and dilapidators pre-eminently stands the 
crafty Italian Polydore Vergil . . . who is said to have 
collected and burnt a greater number of historical MSS. 
than would have loaded a waggon, to prevent the detection 
of the numerous fabrications in his History of England, 
which was composed to gratify Mary and the Catholic 

The Harleian MS, 7379, is a collection of state-letters. 
This MS has four leaves entirely torn out, and is accom- 
panied by this extraordinary memorandum, signed by 
the principal librarian. 

" Upon examination of this book, Nov. 12, 1764, these 
four last leaves were torn out. C. Morton. 

Mem. Nov. 12, sent down to Mrs Macaulay." 

. . . This memorandum must involve our female 
historian in the obloquy of this dilapidation. Such dis- 
honest practices of party feeling, indeed, are not peculiar 
to any party. 


Curiosities of Literature (1792-1817) 


Dr Edward Davanant told me that this learned man had 
a shrew to his wife, who was irreconcileably angrie with 
him for sitting-up late at night so, compileing his Diction- 
arie. . . . When he had half-donne it, she had the oppor- 
tunity to gett into his studie, tooke all his paines out in 
her lap, and threw it into the fire, and burnt it. 


Brief Lives : Thomas Cooper (c. 1680) 


I expressed a wish to know how she came possessed of 
this book [Volney's Ruins of Empires]. She said that a 
young man., a great Constitutionalist, had given it her 
. . . and had pressed her much to read it, for that it was one 
of the best books in the world. I replied, that the author 
was an emissary of Satan . . . that it was written with the 
sole aim of bringing all religion into contempt, and that it 
inculcated the doctrine that there was no future state, nor 
reward for the righteous, nor punishment for the wicked. 
She made no reply, but, going into another room, re- 
turned with her apron full of dry sticks . . . which she 
piled upon the fire, and produced a bright blaze. She then 
took the book from my hand and placed it upon the flaming 
pile ; then, sitting down, took her rosary out of her pocket, 
and told her beads till the volume was consumed. This was 
an auto-da-fe in the best sense of the word. 


The Bible in Spain (1843) 


My old cosen, parson Whitney, told me that in the visita- 
tion of Oxon in Edward VTs time, they burned mathe- 
matical bookes for conjuring bookes, and if the Greeke 
professor had not accidentally come along, the Greeke 
testament had been thrown into the fire for a conjuring 
booke too. 


Brief Lives : James Whitney (c. 1680) 


Strephon, of noble blood and mind, 

(For ever shine his name) 

As death approch'd, his soul refin'd, 

And gave his looser sonnets to the flame. 

" Burn, burn," he cried, with sacred rage, 

" Hell is the due of ev'ry page : 

Hell be its fate "(But O indulgent Heaven ! 

So vile the Muse, and yet the man forgiv'n !) 

" Burn on, my song ; for not the silver Thames, 

Nor Tiber with its yellow streams, 

In endless currents rolling to the main, 

Can e'er dilute the poison or wash out the stain." 


Repentance of the Earl of Rochester 



For my own part, I begin to see the Earth so fearfully 
little, that I believe from henceforth, I shall never be 
concern'd at all for any thing : That we so eagerly desire 
to make our selves great, that we are always designing, 
always troubling and harassing our selves, is certainly 
because we are ignorant what these Vortex's are ; but 
GP 193 

now I hope my new lights will in part justifie my laziness, 
and when any one reproaches me with my carelessness, I 
will answer. Ah, did you but know what thefix'd Stars are ! 


A Plurality of Worlds 
Trans. John Glanvill (1688) 


Syracusa being taken, nothinge greved Marcellus more 
then the losse of Archimedes, who beinge in his studie 
when the citie was taken, busily seeking out by him selfe 
the demonstracion of some Geometricall proposition 
which he hadde drawen in figure, and so earnestly occu- 
pied therein, as he neither sawe nor hearde any noyse of 
enemies that ranne uppe and downe the citie, and much 
lesse knewe it was taken : He wondered when he sawe a 
souldier by him, that bad him go with him to Marcellus. 
Notwithstandynge, he spoke to the souldier, and bad him 
tary untill he had done his conclusion, and brought it to 
demonstracion : but the souldier being angry with his 
aunswer, drew out his sword and killed him. PLUTARCH 

Lives (c. 100) 
Trans. Sir Thomas North (1572) 


I am an isolated Being on the Earth, without a Tie to 
attach me to life, except a few School-fellows and a score 
of females. LORD BYRON 

Letter to Ensign Long (1807) 


For my part, I never could understand those quarrels of 
authors with critics, and with one another. " For God's 
sake, gentlemen, what do they mean ? " 

Letter to Thomas Moore (1817) 

The man must be enviably happy whom reviews can 
make miserable. I have neither curiosity, interest, pain, 
nor pleasure, in anything, good or evil, they can say of me. 
I feel only a slight disgust, and a sort of wonder that 
they presume to write my name. 


Letter to Leigh Hunt (1822) 


Should you cast your eye on the signature of this letter 
before you read the contents, you might imagine that they 
related to a slanderous paper which appeared in your 
Review some time since. I never notice anonymous 
attacks. The wretch who wrote it has doubtless the 
additional reward of a consciousness of his motives, 
besides the thirty guineas a sheet or whatever it is that 
you pay him. Of course you cannot be answerable for all 
the writings that you edit, and I certainly bear you no ill- 
will for having edited the abuse to which I allude indeed, 
I was too much amused by being compared to Pharoah, 
not readily to forgive editor, printer, publisher, stitcher, 
or any one, except the despicable writer, connected with 


something so exquisitely entertaining. Seriously speak- 
ing, I am not in the habit of permitting myself to be 
disturbed by what is said or written of me. . . . But I 
feel in respect to the writer in question, that " I am there 
sitting, where he durst not soar." 


Letter to the Editor of the Quarterly Review (1818) 


Then come some of the Iroquois going to eat a Prisoner 
for their Breakfast, who seems as little concern'd as his 


A Plurality of Worlds 
Trans. John Glanvill (1688) 


Dante went one day to a great public procession ; he 
entered the shop of a bookseller to be a spectator of the 
passing show. He found a book which greatly interested 
him ; he devoured it in silence, and plunged into an abyss 
of thought. On his return, he declared that he had neither 
seen, nor heard, the slightest occurrence of the public 
exhibition which had passed before him. 


Curiosities of Literature (1792-1823) 


But whosoever he be whom fortune hath deprived of his 
owne native countrey, certes, she hath graunted and 
allowed him to make choice of that which may please and 
content him . . . Make choice of the best and most pleas- 
ant citie, time will cause it to be thy native countrey, and 
such a native countrey as shall not distract and trouble 
thee with any businesse nor impose upon thee these and 
suchlike exactions : make paiment and contribute to this 
levie of money : goe in embassage to Rome : receive such 
a captaine or ruler into thine house, or take such a charge 
upon thee at thine owne expenses. Now he that calleth 
these things to remembrance, if he have any wit in his 
head, and be not over-blind every way in his owne opin- 
ion and conceit, will wish and chose, if he be banished out 
of his owne countrey, to inhabite the verie Isle Gyaros, or 
the rough and barraine Hand Cinarus, where trees or 
plants do hardly grow, without complaining with griefc 
of hart, without lamenting and breaking out into these 
plaints and womanly moanes, reported by the Poet Simon- 
ides in these words. 

The roaring noise of purple sea 

resounding all about, 
Doth fright me much, and so inclose 

that I can not get out. 


Morals : Of Banishment (c. 100) 
Trans. Philemon Holland (1603) 




Most things move th'under-jaw, the Crocodile not ; 
Most things sleep lying, th' Elephant leans or stands. 


Providence (1633) 


It is likely there are men also like Satyres inhabiting in 
some desert places, for St Jerom in the life of Paul the 
Eremite, reporteth there appeared to S. Anthony an Hippo- 
centaure, such as the Poets describe, and presently he saw 
in a rocky valley adjoining, a little man having crooked 
nostrils, horns growing out of his forehead, and the neath- 
er part of his body had Goats feet : the holy man not dis- 
mayed, taking the shield of Faith, and the breastplate of 
Righteousness, like a good Souldier of Christ, pressed 
towards him, which brought him some fruits of palms as 
pledges of his peace, upon which he fed in the journey ; 
which St Antony perceiving, he asked him who he was, 


and received this answer, I am a mortall creature, one 
of the inhabitants of this Desert, whom the Gentiles 
(deceived with error) do worship as Fauni, Satyres, and 
Incubi : I am come in ambassage from our flock, intreat- 
ing that thou wouldst pray for us unto the common GOD, 
who came to save the world ; the which words were no 
sooner ended, but he ran away as fast as any fowl could 


History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents (1607) 


" Yes, I suppose it is rather a dull Garden Party," I 
agreed, though my local pride was a little hurt by the 
disdain of that visiting young woman for our rural society. 
" Still we have some interesting neighbours, when you 
get to know them. Now that fat lady over there in purple 
do you see her ? Mrs. Turnbull she believes in Hell, 
believes in Eternal Torment. And that old gentleman with 
whiskers and white spats, Colonel Bosco, is convinced 
that England is tottering on the very brink of the Abyss. 
And the pie-faced lady he is talking to, Miss Stuart-Jones, 
was, she says, Mary Queen of Scots in a previous exist- 
ence. And our Curate we're proud of our Curate, he's 
a great cricketer, and a kind of saint as well. They say he 
goes out in Winter at three o'clock in the morning, and 
stands up to his neck in a pond, to cool and overcome 
his appetites." 


More Trivia (1922) 



" Oh., the wild joys of living ! the leaping from rock up 

to rock, 
The strong rending of boughs from the fir-tree., the cool 

silver shock 

Of the plunge in a pool's living water, the hunt of the bear. 
And the sultriness showing the lion is crouched in his lair. 
And the meal, the rich dates yellowed over with gold dust 

And the locust-flesh steeped in the pitcher, the full 

draught of wine, 

And the sleep in the dried river-channel where bulrushes tell 
That the water was wont to go warbling so softly and well 
How good is man's life, the mere living ! who fit to employ 
All the heart and the soul and the senses for ever in joy ! 


Saul (1842) 


Leaping is an exercise very commendable, and healthfull 
for the body, especially if you use it in the morning, as 


we read Alexander and Epaminondas did. Upon a full 
stomacke or to bedward, it is very dangerous, and in no 
wise to be exercised. 


The Compleat Gentleman (1622) 


In rennynge the exercise is good also, . . . 
Lightly to come and go, rennynge is sure. 
Rennynge is also right good at the chase, 
And for to lepe a dyke is also good ; 


Of Knyghthode and Batayle (early I5th c.) 



Cicero the younger, who resembled his father in nothing 
but in name, . . chanced one day to have many strangers 
at his board, and amongst others saw Cocstius sitting at the 
lower end. . . Cicero inquired of one of his men what he 
was. . . It is, said he, the same Coestius, of whom some 


have told you, that in respect of his owne, maketh no 
account of your father's eloquence. Cicero being suddainly 
mooved, commaunded the said poore Coestius to be pre- 
sently taken from the table, and well whipt in his pre- 
sence : Lo-heere an uncivill and barbarous host. 


Essays : Of Bookes (1580) 
Trans. John Florio (1603) 


The Holy Mawle, which they fancy hung behind the 
church door, which when the father was seaventie, the 
sonne might fetch to knock his father in the head, as effete 
and of no more use. 


Remains of Gentilism and Judaism (1687) 


I wish the Pierian springs would turn their water-ways 
now through my breast, ... so that, forgetting her feeble 
strains, my Muse may rise on bold wings to do reverent 
duty to my father. However her song may be welcomed, 
it is for you, best of fathers, that she is preparing this 
inadequate work. I do not know what more fitting gifts 
from me can answer yours to me, though the greatest 
possible gifts can not really answer yours ; far less can 
the meagre thanks returned through empty words, be 


enough for them. Nevertheless, this page sets forth my 
assets, and what I have of wealth I have counted out on 
this paper ; it is nothing beyond what golden Clio has 
given me, and what slumbers have begotten in me in 
some secluded cave, and in the shadowed, sacred laurel 
groves of Parnassus 

Do not, I pray you, continue to condemn the holy 
Muses, nor think them vain and poor, for through their 
gifts you yourself cunningly compose a thousand strains 
to apt melodies. . . . Now why is it strange that it has 
fallen to you to beget me, a poet, that we, so closely joined 
by dear blood-ties, should pursue allied arts and kindred 
studies ? Phoebus, wishing to share himself between us, 
gave these gifts to me, those to my father, so we, father 
and son, possess the divided god. 

But though you pretend to hate the gentle Muses, I 
think you do not hate them, for, father, you do not com- 
mand me to go where the broad road opens, where the 
ground is more favourable for profit, and where the golden 
hope of amassed wealth steadily shines. You do not drag 
me to the laws, the ill-kept laws of the nation, nor do you 
condemn my ears to foolish clamours. But, desiring to 
enrich my mind further, you withdrew me far from the 
noise of the city, into deep retirement, and let me walk 
in the pleasant leisure of the Aeonian banks, a happy 
companion at Phoebus' side 

What greater thing could have been given, by a father, 
even by Jupiter himself, though he had given all but the 
heavens ? . . . . But for you, dear father, since I cannot 
make the return you deserve, ... let it be enough that 
I have commemorated your gifts, and told them with a 
thankful heart. 

And you, O youthful songs of mine, trifles of my leisure, 

if only you may venture to hope for immortality, . . . 
perhaps you will guard these praises, and my father's 
name thus sung, as an example to far-off ages. 


Ad Pair em (1634?) 
(Trans, from Latin) 



If I should thus farre presume upon the meek demeanour 
of your civil and gentle greatnesse, Lords and Commons, 
as what your publisht Order hath directly said, that to 
gainsay, I might defend myselfe with ease, if any should 
accuse me of being new or insolent, did they but know 
how much better I find ye esteem it to imitate the old and 
elegant humanity of Greece, than the barbarick pride of a 
Hunnish and Norwegian statelines. ... I know not what 
should withhold me from presenting ye with a fit instance 
wherein to shew both that love of truth which ye eminently 
professe, and that uprightnesse of your judgement which is 
not wont to be partiall to yourselves, by judging over 
again that Order which ye have ordain'd to regulate 



Areopagitica (1644) 


One can never. Sir, be sorry to have been in the wrong 
when one's errors are pointed out to one in so obliging 
and masterly a manner. Whatever opinion I may have of 
Shakespeare, I should think him to blame if he could have 
seen the letter you have done me the honour to write to 
me, and yet not conform to the rules you have their laid 
down. When he lived, there had not been a Voltaire, both 
to give laws to the stage, and to show on what good sense 
those laws were founded. 


Letter to Voltaire (1768) 


When Mrs. Montague shewed him some China plates 
which had once belonged to Queen Elizabeth, he told her, 
" that they had no reason to be ashamed of their present 
possessor, who was so little inferior to the first." 


Anecdotes of Dr. Johnson (1786) 


See where she sits upon the grassie greene, 

(O seemely sight !) 
Yclad in Scarlot, like a mayden Queene, 

And Ermines white : 

Upon her head a Cremosin coronet 
With Damaske roses and DafFadillies set : 

Bay leaves betweene, 

And Primroses greene. 
Embellish the sweete Violet. 

Tell me, have ye scene her angelick face 

Like Phoebe fayre ? 
Her heavenly haveour, her princely grace. 

Can you well compare ? 
The Redde rose medled with the White yfere, 
In either cheeke depeincten lively chere : 

Her modest eye, 

Her Majestic, 
Where have you seene the like but there ? . . . 

I see Calliope speede her to the place, 

where my Goddesse shines ; 
And after her the other Muses trace 

with their Violines. 
Bene they not Bay braunches which they doe 

All for Elisa in her hand to weare ? 

So sweetely they play, 

And sing all the way, 
That it a heaven is to heare. . . . 

Now ryse up, Eliza, decked as thou art 

in royall aray ; 
And now ye daintie Damsells may depart 

Eche one her way. 


I feare, I have troubled your troupes to longe : 
Let dame Elisa thanke you for her song : 

And if you come hether 

When Damsines I gether, 
I will part them all you among. 


The Shepheards Calender (1579) 


Even as the sun with purple colour'd face 
Had tane his last leave of the weeping morn, 
Rose cheekt Adonis hied him to the chase ; 
Hunting he lov'd, but love he laught to scorne. 
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him, 
And like a bold fac't suter gins to woe him. 

Thrice fairer then my selfe (thus she began) 
The fields chiefe flower, sweet above compare, 
Staine to all Nymphes, more lovely than a man, 
More white and red, than doves or roses are ; 
Nature that made thee, with her selfe at strife, 
Saith, that the world hath ending with thy life. 

Vouchsafe thou wonder to alight thy steed, 
And reigne his proud head to the saddle-bowe : 
If thou wilt deigne this favour, for thy meed 
A thousand hony-secrets shalt thou know : 
Here come and sit, where never serpent hisses, 
And beeing set, He smother thee with kisses. 


Venus and Adonis (1593. Edition 1607) 


Here was he 

Put to his wisedome, if her virgin knee, 
He should be bold, but kneeling, to embrace ; 
Or keepe aloofe, and trie with words of grace, 
In humblest suppliance, if he might obtaine 
Some cover for his nakedness and gaine 
Her grace to shew and guide him to the Towne. 
The last he best thought, to be worth his owne, 
In weighing both well : to keepe still aloofe, 
And give with soft words his desires their 

proofe. . . . 

" Let me beseech (O Queene) this truth of thee ; 
Are you of mortal, or the deified race ? 
If of the Gods, that th'ample heavens embrace ; 
I can resemble you to none above, 
So neare as to the chast-borne birth of Jove, 
The beamie Cynthia. Her you full present, 
In grace of every God-like lineament : 
Her goodly magnitude ; and all the addresse 
You promise of her very perfectnesse. 
If sprung of humanes, that inhabite earth ; 
Thrice blest are both the authors of your birth ; 
Thrice blest your brothers, that in your deserts, 
Must, even to rapture, beare delighted hearts ; 
To see, so like the first trim of a tree. 
Your forme adorn a dance. But most blest he 
Of all that breathe, that hath the gift t'engage 
Your bright necke in the yoke of mariage ; 
And decke his house with your commanding 


I have not seene a man of so much spirit. 
Nor man, nor woman, I did ever see, 
At all parts equall to the parts in thee. 
T' enjoy your sight, doth Admiration seise 
My eies, and apprehensive faculties. 
Lately in Delos . . . 

... I beheld 

The burthern of a Palme, whose issue sweld 
About Apollos Phane, and that put on 
A grace like thee ; for Earth had never none 
Of all her Sylvane issue so adorn'd : 
Into amaze my very soule was turnd 
To give it observation ; as now thee 
To view (O Virgin) a stupiditie 
Past admiration strikes me ; joynd with feare 
To do a suppliants due, and prease so neare 
As to embrace thy knees. . . . 
God give you, in requitall, all th'amends 
Your heart can wish 

She answerd : " Stranger ! I discerne in thee, 
Nor Sloth) nor Folly raignes ; . . . 
Thou shalt not want." 


Trans. George Chapman (1614) 


We allow'd You Beauty, and we did submit 

To all the Tyrannies of it ; 
Ah ! Cruel Sex, will you depose us too in Wit ? 

Orinda does in that too raign, 

Does Man behind her in Proud Triumph draw, 
And Cancel great Apollo's Salick Law. 

We our old Title plead in vain, 
Man may be Head, but Woman's now the Brain. 


On Orinda's Poems (1668) 


His Art is nothing but delightfull cozenage, whose rules 
are smoothing and garded with perjurie ; whose scope is 
to make men fooles in teaching them to over-value them- 
selves, and to tickle his friends to death. This man is a Por- 
ter of all good tales, and mends them in the carriage ; . . . 
When he walks with his friend, hee sweares to him, that 
no man els is looked at; no man talked of; and that whom- 
soever he vouchsafes to looke on and nod to, is graced 
enough. . . . Sometimes even in absence hee extolleth 
his patron, where hee may presume of safe conveiance to 
his eares. ... In short, he is ... the eare-wig of the 


Characters of Vertues and Vices (1608) 




Thro' the green Oake-wood on a lucent Morn 
Turn'd the sweet mazes of a silver Horn : 
A Stag rac'd past, and hallowing hard behind, 
Dian's young Nymphs ran fleeting down the Wind. 
A light-foot Host, green-kirtl'd all they came, 
And leapt, and rollickt, as some mountain Streame 
Sings cold and ruffling thro' the Forrest Glades ; 
So ran, so sang, so hoyted the Moone's Maids. 
Light as young Lev'retts skip their buskin'd feet, 
Spurning th'enamell'd Sward as they did fleet. 
The Wind that buss'd their cheekes was all the Kiss 
Was suffer'd by the Girles of Artemis, 
Whose traffique was in Woods, whom the wing'd Boy 
Leauguer'd in vain, whom Man would ne're injoy, 
Whose Bed greene Moss beneath the forrest Tree, 
Whose jolly Pleasure all in Liberty, 
To sport with fellow Maids in maiden cheere, 
To swim the Brook, and hollo after Deer. 
Thus, the winds wantoning their flying Curies, 
So rac'd, so chas'd, those most Delightfull Girles. 


The Chase (c. 1675) 

With Horns and with Hounds I waken the Day, 

And hye to my Woodland- Walks away ; 

I tuck up my Robe, and am buskin'd soon, 

And tie to my Forehead a wexing Moon ; 

I course the fleet Stag, unkennel the Fox, 

And chase the wild Goats o'er Summits of Rocks, 

With shouting and hooting we pierce thro' the Sky ; 

And Eccho turns Hunter, and doubles the Cry. 

JOHN DRYDEN, The Secular Masque (1700) 

I have very frequently the opportunity of seeing a Rural 
Andromache, who came up to town last Winter, and is one 
of the greatest Fox-hunters in the Country. She talks of 
Hounds and Horses, and makes nothing of leaping over a 
Six-bar Gate. If a man tells her a waggish story, she gives 
him a Push with her Hand in jest, and calls him an im- 
pudent Dog. JOSEPH ADDISON, Spectator (1711) 

II faut que les femmes tricotent. NAPOLEON BUONAPARTE 


Lord Byron ... did not like to see women eat, and . . . 
he had another reason for not liking to dine with them ; 
which was, that they always had the wings of the chicken. 


Lord Byron and Some of his Contemporaries (1828) 


A woman should never be seen eating or drinking, unless 
it be lobster salad and champagne, the only truly feminine 

Letter to Lady Melbourne (1812) 


Bow Street, where the thieves are examined, is within a 
few yards of us. Mary had not been here four and twenty 
hours before she saw a thief. She sits at the window work- 
ing ; and casually throwing out her eyes, she sees a con- 
course of people coming this way, with a constable to 
conduct the solemnity. These little incidents agreeably 
diversify a female life. 


Letter to Miss Wordsworth (1817) 

To see passengers goe by in some great Rode way, or 
boates in a river, to oversee a Faire, a Market place, or 
out of a pleasant window into some thorough-fare streete, 
to behold a continuall concourse, a promiscuous rout, 
comming and going, or a multitude of spectators at a 
Theater, a Maske, or some such like shew. 


The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 


Looking in at the shop windows of Broadway the whole 
forenoon, flatting the flesh of my nose on the thick plate 


Song of Myself (1855) 


It is generally remarked, that when the odious and corrupt- 
ing propensity of gambling takes possession of the female 
mind, its ravages are still more unsparing than upon the 
characters and feelings of men. 

Edinburgh Review (Jan. 1825) 


The wives and daughters of the Brahmans, ... go bare- 
footed ; but wear a great many ornaments, which generally 
consist of three or four bracelets of brass, a necklace of gold 
or precious stones, and ear-rings of gold or of diamonds. 
They bind their hair together in a roll on the top of the 
head, and paint on the forehead some sacred mark. They 
bear in their hand an umbrella of palm-leaves, which 
they always hold before their face when they meet any 
of the male sex. They, however, turn speedily round, in 


general, when a man has passed them, and seem to cast 
a wistful look towards him. This is a plain proof that in 
every country of the globe the daughters of Eve are 
subject to the like weaknesses. 


Voyage to the East Indies (1796) 
(Trans. W. Johnson) 


Nothing, certainly, is so ornamental and delightful in 
women as the benevolent affections ; but time cannot be 
filled up, and life employed, with high and impassioned 
virtues. ... A scene of distress and anguish is an occasion 
where the finest qualities of the female mind may be 
displayed ; but it is a monstrous exaggeration to tell 
women that they are born only for scenes of distress and 
anguish. . . . We know women are to be compassionate ; 
but they cannot be compassionate from eight o'clock in 
the morning till twelve at night : and what are they to 
do in the interval ? 


Female Education (1809) 


I know not how to call it, but there is a meltingness of 
Disposition, and affectionateness of Devotion, an easie 
Sensibility, an industrious Alacrity, a languishing Ardour 


in Piety, peculiar to the Sex, which naturally renders them 
Subjects more pliable, to the Divine Grace, than Men 
commonly are ; So that Solomon, had reason to bestow 
the Epithete Gracious, particularly on them. 


A Sermon preached at the funeral of the . . . Lady 
Margaret Mainard. . . . 30th June, 1682 


HIPPOLITA : To confine a woman just in her rambling 

Age ! take away her liberty at the very time she should 

use it ! O barbarous Aunt ! O unnatural Father ; to shut 

up a poor girl at fourteen, and hinder her budding ; all 

things are ripen'd by the Sun : to shut up a poor girl 

at fourteen ! 

PRUE : 'Tis true, Miss, two poor young creatures as we 

are ! 

HIPPOLITA : Not suffer'd to see a play in a twelve month ! 

PRUE : Nor to go to Ponchinello nor Paradise ! 

HIP. : Nor to take a Ramble to the Park nor Mulbery- 

garden ! 

PRUE : Nor to Tatnam-Court nor Islington ! 

HIP. : Nor to eat a sillybub in new Spring-garden with a 

Cousin ! 

PRUE : Nor to drink a Pint of Wine with a Friend at the 

Prince in the Sun ! 

HIP. : Nor to hear a Fiddle in good Company ! 

PRUE : Nor to hear the Organs and Tongs at the Gun in 

Moorfields \ 


HIP. : Nay, not suffer'd to go to Church, because the men 

are sometimes there ! Little did I think I should ever have 

long'd to go to Church ! 

PRUE : Or I either, but between two maids ! 

HIP. : Nor see a man ! 

PRUE : Nor come near a man ! 

HIP. : Nor hear of a man ! 

PRUE : No, Miss, but to be deny'd a man, and to have 

no use at all of a man ! 


The Gentleman Dancing- Master (1672) 


Let the Women have the power of their heads, because of the 
Angels. The reason of the words, because of the Angels, is 
this ; The Greek Church held an Opinion that the Angels 
fell in love with Women. 


Table Talk (1634-54 : pub. 1689) 


A woman who gets the command of money for the first 
time upon her marriage, has such a gust in spending it, 
that she throws it away with great profusion. 

Life of Johnson (1791) 


Ceremony keeps up all things ; 'Tis like a Penny-Glass 
to a rich Spirit, or some Excellent Water, without it the 
water were spilt, the Spirit lost. 

Of all people Ladies have no reason to cry down 
Ceremonies, for they take themselves slighted without it. 
And were they not used with Ceremony, with Comple- 
ments and Addresses, with Legs, and Kissing of Hands, 
they were the pittyfullest Creatures in the World. 

Table Talk (1634-54 : pub. 1689) 


The servants then (commanded) soone obaid ; 
Fetcht Coach, and Mules Joynd in it. Then the Maid 
Brought from the chamber her rich weeds, and laid 
All up in Coach : in which, her mother plac't 
A maund of victles, varied well in taste, 
And other junkets. Wine she likewise filld 
Within a goat-skin bottle, and distilld 
Sweete and moist oile into a golden Cruse, 
Both for her daughters, and her handmaids use ; 
To soften their bright bodies, when they rose 
Cleansd from their cold baths. Up to Coach then goes 
Th' observed Maid; takes both the scourge and raines ; 
And to her side, her handmaid strait attaines, 
Nor these alone, but other virgins, grac't 
The Nuptiall Chariot. The whole Bevie plac't ; 
Nausicaa scourg'd to make the Coach Mules runne 

That neigh'd and pac'd their usuall speed : and soone 
Both maids and weeds brought to the river side ; 
Where Baths for all the yeare, their use supplide. 
Whose waters were so pure, they would not staine ; 
But still ran faire forth ; and did more remaine. 
Apt to purge staines, for that purg'd staine within, 
Which, by the waters pure store, was not seen. 
These (here arriv'd) the Mules uncoach'd, and drave 
Up to the gulphie river's shore, that gave 
Sweete grasse to them. The maids from Coach then 


Thier cloaths, and steept them in the sable brooke. 
Then put them into springs, and trod them cleane, 
With cleanly feet ; adventring wagers then, 
Who should have soonest, and most cleanly done. 

When having throughly cleansd, they spred them on 
The flood's shore, all in order. And then, where 
The waves the pibbles wash'd, and ground was cleare, 
They bath'd themselves ; and all with glittring oile, 
Smooth'd their white skins : refreshing then their toile 
With pleasant dinner, by the rivers side. 
Yet still watcht when the Sunne their cloaths had 


Till which time (having din'd) Nausicae 
With other virgins, did at stool-ball play ; 
Their shoulder-reaching head-tires laying by. 
Nausicae (with wrists of Ivory) 
The liking stroke strooke ; singing first a song ; 
(As custome orderd) and amidst the throng, 
Made such a shew ; and so past all was scene ; 
As when the Chast-borne, Arrow-loving Queene, 
Along the mountaines gliding ; either over 
Spartan Taygetus, whose tops farre discover ; 

Or Eurymanthus ; in the wilde Bores chace ; 

Or swift-hov'd Hart ; and with her, Joves faire race 

(The field Nymphs) sporting. Amongst whom, to see 

How farre Diana had prioritie 

(though all were faire) for fairnesse ; yet of all, 

(As both by head and forhead being more tall) 

Latona triumpht since the dullest sight. 

Might easly judge, whom her pains brought to light ; 

Nausicaa so (whom never husband tam'd) 

Above them all, in all the beauties flam'd. 


Odyssey. Book VI 
Trans. George Chapman (1614) 


Hard by the Pump-room, is a coffee-house for the ladies ; 
but my aunt says, young girls are not admitted, insomuch 
as the conversation turns upon politics, scandal, phil- 
osophy, and other subjects above our capacity ; but we 
are allowed to accompany them to the booksellers' shops, 
which are charming places of resort; where we read novels, 
plays, pamphlets, and news-papers . . . and in these offices 
of intelligence (as my brother calls them) all the reports 
of the day, and all the private transactions of the Bath, are 
first entered and discussed. From the booksellers' shop, 
we make a tour through the milleners and toymen ; and 
commonly stop at Mr. Gill's, the pastry-cook, to take a 
jelly, a tart, or a small bason of vermicelli. 

Humphrey Clinker (1771) 



I danced the polka and Cellarius, 

Spun glass, stuffed birds, and modelled flowers in wax. 


Aurora Leigh (1856) 


MRS FORESIGHT : I own it, I think there's no Happiness 
like conversing with an agreeable Man ; I don't quarrel 
at that, nor I don't think but your Conversation was very 
innocent ; but the Place is publick, and to be seen with 
a Man in a Hackney-Coach is scandalous. 


Love for Love (1695) 


Miss : What, and must not I have e'er a Husband then ? 
What, must I go to Bed to Nurse again, and be a Child as 
long as she's an old Woman ? Indeed, but I won't. For 
now my mind is set upon a Man, I will have a Man some 
way or other. Oh ! methinks I'm sick when I think of a 
Man; and if I can't have one, I wou'd go to sleep all my 
Life : For when I'm awake it makes me wish and long, 
and I don't know for what And I'd rather be always 
asleep, than sick with thinking. 


FORESIGHT : O fearful ! I think the Girl's influenc'd too, 
Hussy, you shall have a Rod. 

Miss : A fiddle of a Rod, I'll have a Husband ! and if 
you won't get me one, I'll get one for myself; I'll marry 
our Robin the Butler, he says he loves me, and he's a 
handsome Man, and shall be my Husband : I warrant he'll 
be my Husband, and thank me too, for he told me so. 



We things cal'd women, only made for shew 
And pleasure, created to beare children, 
And play at shuttle-cocke. 

The Tragedie of Sophonisba (1606) 


This evening my wife did with great pleasure shew me her 
stock of jewels, encreased by the ring she hath made lately 
as my Valentine's gift this year, a Turky stone set with 
diamonds : and, with this and what she had, she reckons 
that she hath above 150 worth of jewels, of one kind or 
other ; and I am glad of it, for it is fit the wretch should 
have something to content herself with. 


Diary (Feb. 24, 1668) 



Still unaccomplish'd may the Maid be thought. 

Who gracefully to Dance was never taught : . . . 

To raffle prettily, or slur a Dye, 

Implies both Cunning & Dexterity. 

Nor is't amiss at Chess to be expert. 

For Games, most thoughtful, sometimes most divert. 

Learn ev'ry Game, you'll find it prove of use ; 

Parties begun at Play, may Love produce. 

But, easier 'tis to learn how Bets to lay, 

Than how to keep your Temper while you play. . . . 

Then, base Desire of Gain, then, Rage appears, 

Quarrells and Brawls arise, and anxious Fears ; 

Then, Clamours and Revilings reach the Sky, 

While losing Gamesters all the Gods defie. 

Then horrid Oaths are utter'd ev'ry Cast ; 

They grieve, and curse, and storm, may weep at last. 

Good Jove avert such shameful Faults as these, 

Frome ev'ry Nymph whose Heart's inclined to please. . . . 

Tho' Martial Fields ill sute your tender Frames, 
Nor may you swim in Tiber's rapid streams ; 
Yet when Sol's burning Wheels from Leo drive, 
And at the glowing Virgin's Sign arrive, 
'Tis both allow'd, and fit, you should repair 
To pleasant Walks, and breathe refreshing Air. 
To Pompey's Gardens, or the shady Groves 
Which Caesar honours, and which Phoebus loves 
To Isis Fane, to Theatres resort ; 
And in the Circus see the noble Sport. 
In ev'ry publick Place, by turns, be shown ; 
In vain you're Fair, while you remain unknown. 

OVID, Art of Love (c. 2 B.C.) 
Trans. William Congreve (1709) 


Now they [the Barbarians] say that in their judgment, 
though it is an act of wrong to carry away women by force, 
it is a folly to set one's heart on taking vengeance for their 
rape, and the wise course is to pay no regard when they 
have been carried away ; for it is evident that they would 
never be carried away if they were not themselves willing 
to go. 


History (5th cent. B.C.) 
Trans. G. C. Macaulay 


Now for women instead of laborious studies, they have 
curious needleworkes, cut-workes, spinning, bone-lace, 
and many pretty devices of their own making, to adorn 
their houses, Cushions, Carpets, Chaires, Stooles . . . con- 
fections, conserves, distillations, &c. which they shew to 
strangers. . . . This they have to busie themselves about, 
houshold offices, &c. neate gardens, full of exotick, versi- 
colour, diversely varied, sweet smelling flowers, and plants 
in all kinds, which they are most ambitious to get, curious 
to preserve and keep, proud to possesse, and much many 
times bragge of. Their merry meetings and frequent visita- 
tions, mutuall invitations in good townes, I voluntarily 
omit, which are so much in use, gossipping among the 
meaner sort, &c. 


The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 



I was much pleased with the tale that you told me of being 
tutor to your sisters. I, who have no sisters or brothers, 
look with some degree of innocent envy on those who 
may be said to be born to friends. 


Life of Johnson 


The affection which I bear to you and Hannah is the source 
of the greatest enjoyment that I have in the world. It 
is my strongest feeling. It is that which will determine 
the whole course of my life. It has made me a better man 
and a far happier man than anything else could have made 
me. The very regret which I feel for your absence is a 
more delightful sensation than the pleasure which I take 
HP 225 

in other people's society. . . . The pleasures of dissi- 
pation end in disgust, those in vanity pall with repetition. 
Ambition itself passes away. But my love for my sweet 
sisters . . . becomes stronger and stronger from day to day, 
and from hour to hour. Having been the most restless and 
aspiring of human creatures, I feel that I would not only 
without regret but with perfect cheerfulness and satisfac- 
tion retire in their society to an obscurity in which my 
name should never be heard. Wealth, power, fame, 
become as nothing to me compared with their most sweet 
and precious affection. 


Letter to his sister Margaret 


Living as I do with a man who will, I fully believe, before 
long be acknowledged by the world to be the great man 
I now know him to be, I cannot help regretting that I 
have never endeavoured to preserve some record of his 
conversation ; his talents in conversation being equal, if 
not superior, to any other he possesses. I certainly never 
listen to any one (and I have listened to some of whom the 
world thinks highly) who brings into the ordinary inter- 
course of society, and applies to every subject, the mind, 
the intellectual power, I have never failed to find in 
him. . . . 

His conversation is often extremely lively and humorous 

... I do not wonder that he does not like to hide this 
talent under a bushel, for it is certainly the cleverest 
nonsense I ever heard. ... I intend making this a scrap- 
book about him for my own amusement and that of others 
in time to come. . . . How sadly shall I, perhaps., in future 
days, look on these records of the past gay years ! But if 
my dearest, dearest Tom still loves me, and I am not 
separated from him, I feel now as if I could bear anything. 
But the idea of being separated from him is what I cannot 
support. He has given me tastes which no other person 
can satisfy, he has for years been the object of my whole 
heart, every occupation almost has had him for its object 
and end in some manner, and without him would be void 
of interest. 

I think I was about twelve when I first became very 
fond of him, and from that time my affection for him has 
gone on increasing during a period of seven years. I never 
shall forget my delight and enchantment when I first found 
that I could talk to him, and that he seemed to like talking 
to me. His manner indeed was very flattering to such a 
child as I was, for he always seemed to take as much pains 
and exert himself as much to amuse and please me, to 
explain anything I wished to know, or inform me on any 
subject, as he could have done to the greatest person in 
the land. . . . 

I have been hearing a good deal of speech-making 
to-day, which has made me wild to hear Tom. ... It 
seems to me now as if it would be almost too much for 
me to witness that mightiest of all triumphs, the triumph 
of mind over mind, to hear those burning words, those 
streams of pure and lofty eloquence, to listen to music 
dearer to my ears than Pasta could ever make, in the 
enthusiastic applause of all about me, and to feel that he 


who was exercising this mighty influence prized the 
happy tears of my proud, triumphant, devoted affection 
more than the compliments and applause of the first men 
in his country. And oh ! how almost too happy to feel 
that in that heart beating so high in the consciousness and 
the triumph of unrivalled powers in his very heart of 
hearts was reserved a place for me. Dearest, dearest, 
dearest, I feel as if I could not love him enough. . . . 

I have just been looking round our little drawing-room, 
as if trying to impress every inch of it on my memory, and 
thinking how in future years it will rise before my mind 
as the scene of many hours of light-hearted ease and mirth ; 
how I shall see him again, lolling indolently on the old 
blue sofa, or strolling round the narrow confines of our 
room, who was all the world to me. With such a scene 
will come the remembrance of his beaming, animated 
countenance, happy, affectionate smile, and joyous laugh 
. . . grave or gay, making bad puns, rhymes, riddles, and 
talking all sorts of nonsense, or " more than mortal wise," 
eloquent and original, pouring out from the stores of his 
full mind in his own peculiarly beautiful and expressive 
language. . . . How strange ! I sometimes think, as those 
enchanting talents which in various ways delight the 
world are exerted and displayed for my amusement or 
instruction how strange that I, of all people, should be 
so intimately connected with and so dearly love, and 
above all be loved by him ! But so it is. 


Recollections of T.EM. (1831-2) 




My Lord Brookes us'd to be much resorted to by those 
of the preciser sort, who had got a powerful hand over 
him ; yet they would allow him Christian libertie for his 
recreations : but being at bowles one day, in much com- 
pany, and following his cast with much eagernesse, he 
cryed, " Rubbe, rubbe, rubbe, rubbe, rubbe." His chap- 
laine (a very strict mann) runns presently to him : and in 
the hearing of diverse, " O good my Lord, leave that to 
God you must leave that to God ! " sayes he. 

Merry Passages and Jests (1630-55) 

He was the greatest gallant of his time, and the greatest 
gamester, both for bowling and cards, so that no shop- 
keeper would trust him for 6J, as to-day for instance he 
might, by winning, be worth 200, the next day he might 
not be worth half so much, or perhaps be minus nihile. 
He was one of the best bowlers of his time in England. 
His sisters comeing to the Peccadillo bowling green, 
crying for the feare he should loose all their portions. 


Brief Lives : Sir John Suckling (c. 1680) 


Football is nothyng but beastely fury and extreme 
violence, whereof procedeth hurte, and consequently 
rancour and malice do remayne with thym that be 
wounded, wherfore it is to be put in perpetuall silence. 

The Boke Called the Governour (1531) 


A time there is for all, my mother often sayes, 
When she with skirts tuckt very hie, with gyrles at 
stoolball playes. 


Dialogue between Two Shepheards (1586) 


Chesse-play is a good and witty exercise of the minde for 
some kind of men, and fit for such melancholy ... as are 
idle, and have extravagant thoughts impertinent thoughts, 
or troubled with cares, nothing better to distract their 
minde and alter their meditations, invented (some say) 
by the general of an army in a famine, to keep his souldiers 
from mutiny but ... it may doe more harme than good ; 
it is a game too troublesome for some men's braines, too 
testy full of anxiety, all out as bad as study ; besides, it is a 
cholericke game, and very offensive to him that looseth 


the Mate. William the Conquerour in his yonger years, 
playing at Chesse with the Prince of France, . . . losing a 
Mate, knocked the Chessboard about his pate, which 
was a cause afterward of much enmity between them. 
... A sport fit for idle Gentlemen, Souldiers in Garrison, 
and Courtiers that have naught but Love matters to busie 
themselves about, but not altogether so convenient for 
such as are students. 


The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 

Memorandum : he would say that he look't upon the play 
at chesse very fitt to be learn't and practiced by young 
men, because it would make them to have a foresight and 
be of use to them ... in their ordering of humane affaires. 
Quod N.B. 


Brief Lives : Francis Potter (c. 1680) 


Cricket of late years is become exceedingly fashionable, 
being much countenanced by the nobility and gentlemen 
of fortune, who frequently join in the diversion ; this 
game, which is played with the bat and the ball, consists 
of single and double wicket ; the former requires five 
players on each side, and the latter eleven; but the number 
in both instances can be varied at the pleasure of the 
two parties. At single wicket the striker with his bat is the 
protector of the wicket, the opponent party stand in the 
field to catch or stop the ball, and the bowler, who is one 


of them, takes his place by the side of a small batton or 
stump set up for that purpose two and twenty yards from 
the wicket, and thence delivers the ball with the intention 
of beating it down. If he proves successful the batsman 
retires from the play, and another of his party succeeds ; 
if, on the contrary, the ball is struck by the bat and driven 
into the field beyond the reach of those who stand out to 
stop it, the striker runs to the stump at the bowler's 
station, which he touches with his bat and then returns to 
his wicket. If this be performed before the ball is thrown 
back, it is called a run, and one notch or score is made upon 
the tally towards his game ; if, on the contrary, the ball be 
thrown up and the wicket beaten down with it ... before 
the striker is at home ... he is declared to be out of the 
play ... he is also out if he strikes the ball into the air, 
and if it be caught by any of his antagonists before it reaches 
the ground. . . . When double wicket is played, two bats- 
men go in at the same time, one at each wicket. . . . Both 
parties have two innings, and the side that obtains the most 
runs in the double contest claims the victory. These are 
the general outlines of this noble pastime, but . . . those 
rules are subject to frequent variations, according to the 
joint determination of the players. 


Sports and Pastimes of the People of England (1801) 


Trap-ball, when compared with cricket, is but a childish 




The ordinary recreations which we have in Winter, and 
in most solitary times busie our minds with, are Gardes, 
Tables, and Dice, Shovel-board, Chesse-play, . . . shuttle- 
cock, balliarde, musicke, masks, singing, dancing, ule- 
games, froliks, jests, riddles, catches, purposes, questions 
and commands, merry tales of Errant Knights, Queenes, 
Lovers, Lords, Ladies, Giants, Dwarfs, Theeves, Chea- 
ters, Witches, Fayries, Goblins, Friers, &c. . . and the rest, 
which some delight to heare, some to tell, all are well 
pleased with. ROBERT BURTON 

The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 


Sir John Suckling . . . invented the game of Cribbidge. 
He sent his cards to all gameing places in the country, 
which were marked with private markes of his : he gott 
20,000 by this way. JOHN AUBREY 

Brief Lives : Sir John Suckling (c. 1680) 


Hard by, in the fields called the Links, the citizens of 
Edinburgh divert themselves at a game called golf, in 
which they use a curious kind of bats, tipt with horn, and 
small elastic balls of leather, stuffed with feathers, rather 
less than tennis balls, but of a much harder consist- 
ence This they strike with such force and dexterity 


from one hole to another, that they will fly to an incredible 
distance. Of this diversion the Scots are so fond, that 
when the weather will permit, you may see a multitude 
of all ranks, from the senator of justice to the lowest 
tradesman, mingled together in their shirts, and following 

the balls with the utmost eagerness Among others, 

I was shewn one particular set of golfers, the youngest, 

of whom was turned of fourscore They were all 

gentlemen of independent fortunes, who had amused 
themselves with this pastime for the best part of a century, 
without having ever felt the least alarm from sickness or 
disgust ; and they never went to bed, without having each 
the best part of a gallon of claret in his belly. Such un- 
interrupted exercise, co-operating with the keen air from 
the sea, must, without all doubt, keep the appetite always 
on edge, and steel the constitution against all the common 
attacks of distemper. 

Humphry Clinker (1771) 


Johnson, I believe, did not play at draughts after leaving 
College, by which he suffered ; for it would have afforded 
him an innocent soothing relief from the melancholy 
which distressed him so often. . . . The game of draughts 
we know is peculiarly calculated to fix the attention with- 
out straining it. There is a composure and gravity in 
draughts which insensibly tranquillises the mind ; and, 
accordingly, the Dutch are fond of it. 


Life of Johnson (1791) 



The Turks who past their dayes in Gardens here, will 
have Gardens also hereafter, and delighting in Flowers on 
earth, must have Lillies and Roses in Heaven. In Garden 
Delights 'tis not easie to hold a Mediocritie ; that in- 
sinuating pleasure is seldome without some extremity. 
The Antients venially delighted in flourishing Gardens ; 
Many were Florists that knew not the true use of a Flower. 
. . . Some commendably affected Plantations of venemous 
Vegetables, some confined their delights unto single 
plants, and Cato seemed to dote upon Cabbadge ; While 
the Ingenuous delight of Tulipists stands saluted with 
hard language, even by their own Professors. 


Epistle Dedicatory to The Garden of Cyrus (1658) 


I fmish'd this day with a walke in the greate garden of 
the Thuilleries, rarely contriv'd for privacy, shade, or 
company, by groves, plantations of tall trees, especially 
that in the middle, being of elmes, the other of mulberys ; 


and that labyrinth of cypresse ; not omitting the noble 
hedges of pomegranates, fountaines, fishponds, and an 
aviary ; but above all the artificial echo, redoubling the 
words so distinctly, and as it is never without some faire 
nymph singing to its gratefull returns : standing at one 
of the focus's, which is under a tree, or little cabinet of 
hedges, the voice seems to descend from the clouds ; at 
another as if it was underground. This being at the bo tome 
of the garden, we were let into another, which was being 
kept with all imaginable accuratenesse as to the orangery, 
precious shrubes, and rare fruites, seem'd a paradise. 


Diary (Feb. 8, 1644) 

From hence about a league farther we went to see Cardinal 
Richelieu's villa at Ruell . . . though the house is not of 
the greatest, the gardens about it are so magnificent that 
I doubt whether Italy has any exceeding it for all rarities 
of pleasure. The garden nearest the pavilion is a parterre, 
having in the middst divers noble brasse statues, perpetu- 
ally spouting water into an ample bassin, . . . ; but what 
is most admirable is the vast enclosure, and variety of 
ground, in the large garden, containing vineyards, corne- 
fields, meadows, groves (whereof one is of perennial 
greenes), and walkes of vast lengthes, so accurately kept 
and cultivated, that nothing can be more agreeable. . . . 
This leads to the Citroniere, which is a noble conserve of 
all those rarities ; and at the end of it is the Arch of Con- 
stantine, painted on a wall in oyle, as large as the real one 
at Rome, so well don that even a man skill'd in painting 
may mistake it for stone and sculpture. The skie and hills 


which seem to be between the arches are so naturall that 
swallows and other birds, thinking to fly through, have 
dashed themselves against the wall. I was infinitely taken 

with this agreeable cheate, T7 . , , , , , 

6 Ibid. (Feb. 27, 1644) 


Arriv'd at Tivoli, ye went first to see the Palace dEste. . . . 
In the garden on the right hand are 16 vast conchas of 
marble jetting out waters ; . . . Before the ascent of the 
palace is the famous fountaine of Leda, and not far from 
that, foure sweete and delicious gardens. Descending 
thence are two pyramids of water, and in a grove of trees 
neere it the fountaines. . . . The grotts are richly pav'd 
with pietra-commessa shells, corall, etc. 

Towards Roma Triumphans leades a long and spacious 
walk, full of fountaines, under which is historized the 
whole Ovidian Metamorphosis in rarely sculptur'd mezzo 
relievo. At the end of this, next the wall, is the cittie of 
Rome as it was in its beauty, of small models, representing 
that cittie, with its amphiteaters, naumachia, thermae, 
temples, arches, aqueducts, streetes, and other magnifi- 
cences, with a little streame running thro' it for the Tyber, 
gushing out of an urne next the statue of the river. In 
another garden is a noble aviarie, the birds artificial and 
singing till an owle appeares, on which they suddenly 
change their notes. . . . Below this are divers stews and 
fish-ponds, in one of which is the statue of Neptune in 
his chariot on a sea horse, in another a Triton ; and lastly 

a garden of simples. ., ,.. . f . 

6 F Ibid. (May 6, 1645) 



Indeed, it is the Purest of Human pleasures. It is the 
greatest Refreshment to the Spirit of Man ; Without 
which. Buildings and Pallaces are but Grosse Handy- 
Works : And a Man shall ever see, that when Ages grow to 
Civility and Elegancie, Men come to build Stately, sooner 
then to Garden finely : As if Gardening were the Greater 
Perfection. I doe hold it, in the Royall Ordering of 
Gardens, there ought to be Gardens for all the Moneths 
in the Yeare : In which, severally, Things of Beautie may 
be then in Season. . . . 

For Gardens . . . the Contents ought not well to be 
under Thirty Acres of Ground ; And to be divided into 
three Parts : A Greene in the Entrance ; A Heath or 
Desart in the Going Forth ; And the Maine Garden in 
the midst ; Besides Alleys on both sides. . . . The Greene 
hath two pleasures ; The one, because nothing is more 
Pleasant to the Eye then Greene Grasse kept finely 
shorne ; The other, because it will give you a faire Alley 
in the midst, by which you may go in front upon a Stately 
Hedge, which is to inclose the Garden. . . . 

As for the Making of Knots, or Figures, with Divers 
Coloured Earths, that they may lie under the Windowes 
of the House . . . they be but Toyes : You may see as 
good Sights, many times, in Tarts. . . . And upon the 
Upper Hedge, over every Space, between the Arches, a 
little Turret, with a Belly, enough to receive a Cage of 
Birds. ... I, for my part, doe not like Images Cut 
out in Juniper, or other Garden Stuffe : They be for 
Children. . . . 

For Fountaines, they are a great Beauty, and Refresh- 


ment ; But Pooles marre all, and make the Garden un- 
wholsome, and full of Flies. . . . 

For the Heath ... I wish it to be framed, as much as 
may be, to a Naturall wildnesse. . . Thickets, made onely 
of Sweet-briar, and Honny-suckl some wilde Vine 
amongst ; And the Ground set with Violets, Strawberries, 
and Prime-Roses. For these are Sweet, and prosper in 
the Shade. 

Of Gardens (1625) 


Without the hall, and close upon the gate, 
A goodly orchard ground was situate, 
Of neare ten Acres ; about which, was led 
A loftie Quickset. In it flourished 
High and broad fruit trees, that Pomegranats bore ; 
Sweet Figs, Peares, Olives ; and a number more 
Most usefull Plants, did there produce their store. 
Whose fruits, the hardest Winter could not kill ; 
Nor hotest Summer wither. There was still 
Fruite in his proper season, all the yeare. 
Sweet Zephire breath'd upon them, blasts that were 
Of varied tempers. These, he made to beare 
Ripe fruite ; these blossomes : Peare grew after peare ; 
Apple succeeded apple ; Grape, the Grape ; 
Fig after Fig came ; Time made never rape, 
Of any dainty there. A spritely vine 
Spred here his roote ; whose fruite, a hote sunshine 
Made ripe betimes. Here grew another greene. 

Here, some were gathering ; here some pressing 


A large-allotted severall each fruite had ; 
And all th' softn'd grounds their apparance made, 
In flowre and fruite, at which the King did aime 
To the precisest order he could claime. 

Two Fountaines grac't the garden ; of which, one 
Powrd out a winding streame that over-runne 
The grounds for their use chiefly : th'other went 
Close by the loftie Pallace gate ; and lent 
The Citie his sweet benefit ; and thus 
The Gods the Court deckt of Akinous. 


Odyssey. Book VII 
Trans. George Chapman (1614) 


In this pleasant soile 

His farr more pleasant Garden God ordaind ; 
Out of the fertil ground he caus'd to grow 
All Trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste ; 
And all amid them stood the Tree of Life, 
High, eminent, blooming Ambrosial Fruit 
Of vegetable Gold ; and next to Life 
Our Death the Tree of Knowledge grew fast by ... 

Thus was this place, 
A happy rural seat of various view : 
Groves whose rich Trees wept odorous Gumms and 


Others whose fruit burnisht with Golden Rinde 

Hung amiable, Hesperian Fables true. 
If true, here onely, and of delicious taste : 
Betwixt them Lawns, or level Downs, and Flocks 
Grasing the tender herb, were interpos'd, 
Or palmie hilloc, or the flourie lap 
Of som irriguous Valley spread her store, 
Flours of all hue, and without Thorn the Rose ; 
Another side, umbrageous Grots and Caves 
Of coole recess, o're which the mantling Vine 
Layes forth her purple Grape, and gently creeps ; 
Luxuriant ; mean while murmuring waters fall 
Down the slope hills, disperst, or in a Lake, 
That to the fringed Bank with Myrtle crown'd, 
Her chrystall mirror holds, unite thir streams, 
The Birds thir quire apply ; aires, vernal aires, 
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune, 
The trembling leaves, while Universal Pan 
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance 
Led on th' Eternal Spring. 


Paradise Lost. Book IV (1667) 


On to thir mornings rural work they haste 
Among sweet dewes and flours ; where any row 
Of Fruit-trees overwoodie reached too farr 
Thir pamperd boughes, and needed hands to check 

Fruitless imbraces. 


Book V 


And now what Monarch would not Gard'ner be, 
My faire Amanda's stately gate to see ; 
How her feet tempt ! how soft and light she treads, 
Fearing to wake the flowers from their beds ! 
Yet from their sweet green pillowes ev'ry where, 
They start and gaze about to see my Faire ; 
Look at yon flower yonder, how it growes 
Sensibly ! how it opes its leaves and blowes, 
Puts its best Easter clothes, on neat and gay ! 
Amanda's presence makes it holy-day : 
Look how on tip-toe that faire lilie stands 
To look on thee, and court thy whiter hands 
To gather it ! I saw in yonder croud 
The Tulip-bed, of which Dame-Flora's proud, 
A short dwarfe flower did enlarge its stalk, 
And shoot an inch to see Amanda walk ; . . . 
The broad-leav'd Sycamore, and ev'ry tree 
Shakes like the trembling Aspe, and bends to thee, 
And each leaf proudly strives with fresher aire, 
To fan the curled tresses of thy hair ; 
Nay, and the Bee too, with his wealthie thigh, 
Mistakes his hive, and to thy lips doth flie ; 
Willing to treasure up his honey there, 
Where honey-combs so sweet and plenty are : 
Look how that pretty modest Columbine 
Hangs down its head to view those feet of thine ! 
See the fond motion of the Strawberrie, 
Creeping on th'earth, to go along with thee ! 
The lovely violet makes after too, 
Unwilling yet, my dear, to part with you ; 
The knot-grasse and the dazies catch thy toes 

To catch my fair e ones feet before she goes ; 
All court and wish me lay Amanda down, 
And give my Dear a new green flower 'd gown. 
Come let me kisse thee falling, kisse at rise, 
Thou in the Garden, I in Paradise. 


To Amanda walking in the Garden (1653) 


. . . my abhor rency of those painted and formall projec- 
tions of our cockney gardens and plotts, which appeare like 
gardens of past-board and march-pane, and smell more of 
paynt than of flowers and verdure : our drift is a noble, 
princely, and universall Elysium, capable of all the amoen- 
ities that can naturally be introduced into gardens of plea- 
sure, and such as may stand in competition with all the 
august designes and stories of this nature, either of antient 
or moderne times ; . . . We will endeavour to shew how 
the aire and genius of gardens operat upon humane spirits 

towards virtue and sanctitie How caves, grotts, mounts, 

and irregular ornaments of gardens do contribute to con- 
templative and philosophicall enthusiasme . . . influence 
the soule and spirits of man, and prepare them for con- 
verse with good angells ; besides which, they contribute to 
the lesse abstracted pleasures, phylosophy naturall and 
longevitie : and I would have not onely the elogies and 
effigies of the antient and famous garden heroes, but a 
society of the Paradisi Cultores. . . . Paradisean and Hort- 
ulan saints, to be a society of learned and ingenuous men, 
such as Dr Browne. JOHN EVELYN 

Letter to Sir Thomas Browne (1658) 


Chap VII, Lib 3 : Paradise, Elysian fields, Hesperides, 
Horti Adonidis, Alcinoi, Semyramis, Salomon's, The 
pensile gardens in Babylon. . . . Democritus's garden, 
Epicurus's at Athens, hortorum ille magister, as Pliny calls 
him . . . and many others. . . . 

Amongst the antient Romanes. . . . 

In America. Montezuma's floating garden, and others in 
Mexico. . . . 

In England Wilton, Dodington, Spensherst . . . my 
elder brother George Evelyn's in Surrey, far surpassing 
any else in England, it may be my owne poore garden 
may for its kind, perpetually greene, not be unworthy 

The gardens mentioned in Scripture, &c. 

Miraculous and extraordinary gardens found upon huge 
fishes' backs, men over growne with flowers &c. 

Romantique and Poeticall gardens out of Sidney, Spen- 
cer ... Homer . . . &c. JOHN EVELYN 
Letter to Sir Thomas Browne (1658) 


The most pleasant and delectable thing for recreation 
belonging unto our farmes is our flower gardens, . . . 
It is a commendable and seemely thing to behold out at a 
window many acres of ground well tilled and husbanded, 
. . . But yet it is much more to behold faire and comely 
proportions, handsome and pleasant arboures and as it 
were closets, delightfull borders of lavender, rosemarie, 


boxe, and other such like : to heare the ravishing musicke 
of an infinite number of prettie small birdes, which 
continually day and night doe chatter and chant their pro- 
per and naturall branch songs upon the hedges and trees 
of the garden : and to smell so sweet a nosegaie so neere 
at hand : seeing that this so fragrant a smell cannot but 
refresh the Lord of the farme exceedingly, when going out 
of his bed-chamber in the morning after the sunne rise, 
and whiles as yet the cleere and pearlelike dew doth pearch 
unto the grasse. He giveth himselfe to heare the melodious 
musicke of the Bees : which busying themselves in gather- 
ing of the same, do also fill the aire with a most acceptable, 
sweet and pleasant harmonic : besides the borders and 
continued rowes of soveraigne, thyme, balme, rosemarie, 
marierome, cypers, soothernwood, and other fragrant 
herbes, the sight and view whereof cannot but give great 
contentment unto the beholder. 

The garden of pleasure must be cast and contrived close 
to the one side of the kitchin garden, but yet so, as that 
they be sundred by the intercourse of a great large alleye, 
as also a hedge of quickset, having three doores. . . . The 
kitchin garden is to be compassed and set about with 
lattise worke, and yoong common bordering stuffe to be 
made up afterward and contrived into arbours, or as it 
were into small chappels, or oratories and places to make 
a speech out off, that many standing about and below may 
heare. In like sort shall the garden of pleasure be set about 
and compassed in with arbours made of Jesamin, rose- 
marie, boxe, juniper, cyper-trees savin, cedars, rose-trees, 
and other dainties first planted and pruned according as 
the nature of every one doth require, but after brought 
into some forme and order with willow or juniper poles, 
such as may serve for the making of arbours. . . . 


This garden shall be devided into two equall parts. The 
one shall containe the herbes and flowres used to make 
nosegaies and garlands of, ... and it may be called the 
nosegaie garden. The other part shall have all other sweet 
smelling herbes, . . . and this may be called the garden 
for herbs of a good smell. 


Maison Rustique (1572) Trans. Richard Surflet (1600) 


By water to Fox-hall, and there walked in Spring Garden. 
A great deal of company and the weather and garden plea- 
sant : that it is very pleasant and cheap going thither, for 
a man may go to spend what he will, or nothing, all is one. 
But to haer the nightinghale and other birds, and here 
fiddles, and there a harp, and here a Jew's trump, and 
here laughing, and there fine people walking, is mighty 


Diary (May 28, 1667) 


When God did Man to his own likenes make, . . . 

He did a garden for him plant 
By the quick hand of his omnipotent word. 
As the cheif help and joy of human life, 
Hee gave him the first gift, first, even before a Wife. 

For God, the universale Architect, 
'T had ben as easy to erect 
A Louvre, or Escuriall, or a Tower . . . 

But well hee knew what place would best agree 

With innocence and with faelicitie ; 

And wee elsewhere still seek for them in vain, . . . 

God the first garden made, and the first city, Cain. 

Oh blessed shades ! oh, gentle cool retreat, 

From all th'immoderat heat 

In which the frantick world does burn and sweat ! . . . 

The birds that dance from bough to bough, 
And sing above in every tree, 
Are not from fears and cares more free 
Then wee who ly, or sit, or walk below, 
And should by right bee singers too. 

What princes quire of musick can excel 
That which in this shade does dwel ? 
For which we nothing pay or give, 
They like all other poets live 

Without reward or thanks for their obliging pains ; . . . 

The whistling winds add their less artfull straines, 

And a grave base the murmuring fountains play ; 

The Garden (1666) 


That which makes the cares of gardening more necessary, 
or at least excuseable, is, that all men eat fruit that can 
get it ; so as the choice is only, whether one will eat Good 
or 111. Now whoever will be sure to eat good fruit, must 


do it out of a garden of his own ; for besides the choice so 
necessary in the sorts, the soil, and so many other circum- 
stances that go to compose a good garden, or produce good 
fruits, and there is something very nice in gathering them, 
and chusing the best even from the same tree. ... So that 
for all things out of a garden, either of sallads or fruits, a 
poor man will eat better, that has one of his own, then a 
rich man that has none. And this is all I think of, Necessary 
and Useful to be known upon this subject. 

SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE, Of Gardening (1685) 



Talking one day of his domestic misfortunes, as he always 
likes to call his separation from Lady Byron, he dwelt in a 
sort of unmanly strain of lamentation on it, that all present 
felt to be unworthy of him ; and as the evening before I had 
heard this habititude of his commented on by persons 
indifferent about his feelings, who even ridiculed his 
making it a topic of conversation with mere acquaintances, 
I wrote a few lines in verse expressive of my sentiments and 
handed it across the table round which we were seated, as 
he was sitting for his portrait. He read them, became red and 
pale by turns with anger, and threw them down on the table 
with an expression of countenance which is not to be 


forgotten. The following are the lines, which had nothing 
to offend ; but they did offend him deeply, and he did not 
recover his temper during the rest of his stay. 

And canst thou bare thy breast to vulgar eyes ? 
And canst thou shew the wounds that rankle there ? 
Methought in noble hearts that sorrow lies 
Too deep to suffer coarser minds to share. 

The wounds inflicted by the hand we love, 
(The hand that should have warded off each blow) 
Are never heal'd, as aching hearts can prove. 
But sacred should the stream of sorrow flow. 

If friendship' '$ pity quells not real grief, 
Can public pity soothe thy woes to sleep ? 
No ! Byron, spurn such vain, such weak relief, 
And if thy tears must fall in secret weep. 


Conversations with Byron (1834) 


It is an unruly Age we live in. ... I understand there is a 
Gentleman Mr A. B. is extremely prodigal of his pretences 
to you, in the way of Love and Marriage : my Condition is 
only this, that you have an eye to your own welfare, build 
not upon empty promises, for if you once surfer him to 
please his humour before he is safely yours, you will 
certainly forfeit your own Honour. Consider, as he is 
above you in purse, and the portions of this life (Beauty 
only excepted, for of that Nature hath given you a 
bountiful proportion) whether his intentions are real or 


feigned ; make him your own, then ... he will be bound by 

the Laws of God and Nature, to bear a part with you in 

whatsoever happens. ANON 

New Academy of Compliments (1671) 


Honest Tom, 

I wish some Person would direct you a while for 

the true Pronounsation and writeing of French ; by noe 
means forget to encrease yr Latin, be Patient Civil and 
Debonair unto all, be Temperate and stir little in the hot 
season ; . . . Have the love and fear of God ever before thine 
eyes, God confirm yr faith in Christ and that you may live 
accordingly, Je vous recommende A dieu. If you meet 
with any Pretty insects of any kind keep them in a box. 


Letter to his son Thomas (1661) 


I have decided to write briefly to you the thoughts that have 
occurred to my mind on this occasion ; not that I think 
they escape you, but because perhaps, hampered by 
grief, you perceive them less clearly. 

Why is it that you are so disturbed by a private grief ? 
Consider how fortune up till now has treated us ; those 
things have been taken from us which should be no less 


dear to us than our children country, reputation, posi- 
tion, all honours. What can this one additional misfortune 
add to your grief? Or who, trained by these things, ought 
not to be thick-skinned, and to consider everything else of 
less importance ? . . . . 

This, too, if it seems good to you, consider. Lately 
there perished simultaneously many famous men ; the 
imperial power of the Roman people has been much 
diminished ; all the provinces have been shaken ; are you 
so much moved to trouble because the little life of one 
little woman has been thrown away ? If she had not met 
her fate now, she would have had to die in a few years, 
since she was human. You must recall your mind and 
thoughts from these topics, and remember rather what is 
worthy of you. . . . 

I am ashamed to write more to you about this, lest I 
should seem to distrust your sense ; therefore, when I 
have mentioned this one thing more, I will stop. We have 
often seen that you bear good fortune beautifully . . . 
show us that you can bear adversity equally well, and that 
you do not consider your burden greater than you should. 

When I learn that you are calmer, I shall inform you of 
the condition of my province. SERVIUS SULPICIUS RUFUS 

Letter to M. T. Cicero (45 B.C.) 


After some common Discourses had passed between us, he 
called for a Manuscript of his ; which being brought, he 
delivered to me; bidding me, " Take it home with me, and 
read it at my Leisure ; and, when I had so done, return it 


to him, with my Judgement therupon." When I came 
home, and had set myself to read it, I found it was 
that Excellent POEM which he entitled PARADISE LOST. 
After I had, with the best Attention, read it through : I 
made him another Visit, and returned him his Book ; with 
due Acknowledgment of the Favour he had done me in 
Communicating it to me. He asked me, how I liked it, 
and what I thought of it ; which I modestly but freely told 
him. And, after some further Discourse about it, I 
pleasantly said to him, Thou has said much, here, of 
PARADISE LOST : but what hast thou to say of PARADISE 
FOUND ? He made me no answer, but sate some time 
in a Muse : then brake off that Discourse, and fell upon 
another Subject. . . . 

Afterwards ... he shewed me his Second Poem, 
called PARADISE REGAINED : and, in a pleasant tone, said 
to me, This is owing to you ! For you put it into my head, by 
the question you put to me at Chalfont, which, before, I had 
not thought of. THOMAS ELLWOOD 

History of his Life (1714) 


Gather ye Rose-buds while ye may, 

Old Time is still a flying : 
And this same flower that smiles to day 

To morrow will be dying. 

The glorious Lamp of Heaven, the Sun, 

The higher he's a getting ; 
The sooner will his Race be run, 

And neerer he's to Setting. 

That Age is best, which is the first. 
When Youth and Blood are warmer ; 

But being spent, the worse, and worst 
Times, still succeed the former. 

Then be not coy, but use your time ; 

And while ye may, goe marry : 
For having lost but once your prime, 

You may for ever tarry. 

To the Virgins, to make much of time. Hesperides (1648) 


Ye Virgins that from Cupids tents 

do beare away the foyle, 
Whose hartes as yet with raginge love 

most paynfully do boyle, 

To you I speake ; For you be they 

that good advice do lack ; 
Oh ! if I could good counsell give, 

my tongue should not be slacke. . . . 

Beware of fayre and painted talke, 

beware of flattering tonges ! 
The mermaides do pretend no good, 

for all their pleasant Songs. . . . 

Trust not a man at the fyrst sight, 

but trye him well before : 
I wish all Maids, within their brests, 

to kepe this thing in store ; 

For triall shall declare this trueth 
and show what he doth think : 
Whether he be a Lover true, 
or do intend to shrink. 

is. w. 

An Admonition to all young Gentlewomen to beware of 

Mens flattery (1566) 



What ? Do you consider that this is what I commissioned 
you'to do, to send me stories about gladiatorial matches, 
about adjourned bails, about the robbery of Chrestus, and 
such stuff as nobody dares mention to me when I am at 

Rome ? 


Letter to M. Caelius Rufus (B.C. 51) 


There is absolutely no news, unless you want me (and I'm 
sure you do) to write to you about this kind of thing : 
Young Cornificius has promised marriage to Orsetilla's 


daughter. Paulla Valeria, Triarius's sister, got a divorce, 
without giving a reason, the very day her husband was to 
return home from his province. She is to marry D. Brutus . 
She has sent back all her ornaments. 

A lot of incredible things like this have happened in 
your absence. Servius Ocella would never have persuaded 
any one that he was an adulterer if he hadn't been caught 
at it twice in three days. Where, you will ask ? Where 
I should least have wished, by Hercules ! I leave you 
something to find out from others. And I don't mind the 
idea of a Commander-in-Chief inquiring of people one 
by one who was the lady someone was caught with. 


Letter to Cicero (B.C. 50) 


PAGE : Madam, Mr Medley has sent to know whether a 
Visit will not be Troublesome this Afternoon ? 
LADY TOWNLEY : Send him word his visits never are so. 
EMILIA : He's a very pleasant man. 
LADY TOWN. : He's a very necessary man among us 
Women ; he's not scandalous i'the least, perpetually con- 
triving to bring good Company together, and always ready 
to stop us a gap at Ombre ; then he knows all the little 
news o' the Town. 

EMILIA : I love to hear him talk o' the Intrigues, let 'em 
be never so dull in themselves, he'l make 'em pleasant 
i' the relation. 

LADY TOWN. : But he improves things so much one can 


take no measure of the Truth from him. Mr Dorimant 
swears a Flea or a Maggot is not made more monstrous 
by a magnifying Glass, than a story is by his telling it. 
EMILIA : Hold, here he comes. 

EMILIA : Leave your raillery, and tell us, is there any new 
Wit come forth. Songs or Novels ? 
MEDLEY : A very pretty piece of gallantry, by an eminent 
Author, call'd the diversions of Bruxells, .... Then there 
is the Art of Affectation, written by a late beauty of 
Quality, teaching you how to draw up your Breasts, 
stretch up your neck, to thrust out your Breech, to play 
with your Head, to toss up your Nose, to bite your Lips, 
to turn up your Eyes, to speak in a silly soft tone of a 
Voice, and use all the Foolish French Words that will 
infallibly make your person and conversation charming, 
with a short apologie at the latter end in the behalf of 
young Ladies who notoriously wash and paint, though 
they have naturally good Complexions. 
EMILIA : What a deal of stuff you tell us ! 
MED. : Such as the Town affords, Madam. The Russians, 
hearing the great respect we have for Foreign Dancing, 
have lately sent over some of their best Ballarins, who 
are now practicing a famous Ballat which will be suddenly 
danc'd at the Bear-Garden. 

LADY TOWN. : Pray forbear your idle stories, and give us 
an account of the state of Love, as it now stands. 
MED. : Truly, there has been some revolutions in those 
Affairs, great chopping and changing among the old, and 
some new Lovers, whom malice, indiscretion, and mis- 
fortune, have luckily brought into play. 
LADY TOWN. : What think you of walking into the next 


Room, and sitting down, before you engage in this 
business ? 

MED. : I wait upon you, and I hope, (though Women are 
commonly unreasonable) by the plenty of Scandal I shall 
discover, to give you very good Content, Ladies. 


The Man of Mode (1674) 


The decay of study, and consequently of learning, are coffy 
houses, to which most scholars retire and spend much of 
the day in hearing and speaking of news, in speaking vilely 
of their superiors. ANTHONY WOOD 

Life and Times (1674) 


I venture to write to you after six Months Neglect. Not 
that I think you care much for my letters neither ; don't 

mistake. ... I know my Lady gives you an Account 

of all material things, Intrigues and new Petticoats. As for 
Politicks, you'd clap them under Minc'd-pies, and well if 
they fared no worse. In short, I know nothing but Religion 
you care a Farthing for ; and that the Town's so bare of at 
present, I cou'd as soon send you Money. No-body prays 
but the Court ; and perhaps they had as good let it alone ; 
at least No-body sees, by the Effects, what they pray for ; 
'tis thought, a general Excise. But Heaven, who knows 
IP 257 

our wants better, seems to be of Opinion a General Peace 

will do as well 

The first time I shew'd myself, since I came to Town, 
upon that Theatre of Truth and Good Nature, the 
Chocolate-House, I was immediately regal'd with the old 
Story (tho' from another Hand) That now you were gone 

for certain. But that worthy Knight-Errant, Mr W , 

that Mirrour of Chivalry for all wrong'd Ladies, drew his 
tongue in your Defence ; and I, Madam, had the Honour 
to be his Sancho Pancho in your Justification. But how 
long we shall be able to stand our Ground I can't tell, 
unless you'll come and lug out too, and then I don't doubt 
but we shall make our Party good. . . Here's a scoundrel 
Play come out lately, by which the Author has been pleas'd 
to bring all the Reverend Ladies of the Town upon his 

Back, with my Lady at the head of 'em. . . But that 

is not all his Misfortune ; there's a younger Knot, who, 
having grimac'd themselves into the Faction of Piety, say, 
' Tis a wicked Play, and a Blasphemous Play, and a Beastly, 
Filthy, Bawdy Play ; and so never go to it but in a Mask. 

Dear Mrs S , come to Town again quickly, and don't 

put your Country- tricks upon us any longer, for here's 

a World of Mischief in your Absence : The V is 

leaner than ever. I am grown Religious. My Lord W 

is going to be Married. Sir John Fenwick is going to be 

Hanged. The W.L is boarded by a Sea-Officer : The 

Lady Sh is Storm'd by a Land one. Yel has got 

a high Intrigue ; and the P has got the Gripes. . . You 

see all's in Disorder ; nor are things much better in the 
Country, as I hear : For, 'tis said, the Spirit of Wedlock 

haunts Folks in Shropshire. . . Some-body swore by 

t'other Day, you were Married ; to whom, I have forgot, 
tho' that was sworn too. But, pray, let's see you here 


again ; and don't tell us a Scripture-story, That you have 
married a Husband and can't come ; the Excuse, you see, 
was not thought good, even in those Days, when things 
wou'd pass on Folks that won't now. 

My due Respects to the Mayor and Corporation of 


Letter to Mrs S (1696) 


The said Mr Aubrey gave Ant. a Wood abundance of 
other of his informations; and Anthony used to say of him, 
when he was at the same time in company, " Look, yonder 
goes such an one, who can tell such and such stories, and 
Pll warrant Mr Aubrey will break his neck down stairs 
rather than miss him." THOMAS HEARNE 

Diary (Aug. 5, 1710) 


Dear Sir. You desir'd me, when I saw you last, to send 
you the News of the Town, and to let you see how punct- 
ually I have obey'd your Orders, scarce a Day has pass'd 
over my Head since, but I have been enquiring after the 
freshest Ghosts and Apparitions for you, Rapes of the 
newest date, dexterous Murders, and fantastical Mar- 
riages, Country Steeples demolished by Lightning, Whales 
stranded in the North, etc, a large Account of all which 
you may expect when they come in my way. TOM BROWN 

Letter to W. Knight (1690) 


We have Mr Lampton and his family lately com from 
London and along with them a figne brisk phesicion and 
a figne Maid they are Roman Catholics but appear very 
well at a distance. I suppose we must not converse with 
them which I am sorry for because they seem well bred 


Mrs Hutton is from us at Present, the death of her 
father who has left all to his wifes Management will I 
doubt be injurious to her poor woman she's ill dealt with 
and wants humer to bear it. 


Letter to her' son Thomas (1717) 


Y'expect to hear, at least, what Love has past 
In this lewd Town, since you and I saw last ; 
What change has happen'd of Intrigues, and whether 
The old ones last, and who and who's together. 


Letter from Artemisa in the town to Cloe in the 

country (c. 1670) 


I will be like any gazette, and scrape together all the births, 
deaths and marriages in the parish. Lady Harrington 


and Lady Rachel Walpole are brought to bed of sons ; 
Lord Burlington and Lord Gower have had new attacks 
of palsies : Lord Falkland is to marry the Southwark Lady 
Suffolk ; and Mr Watson, Miss Grace Pelham. Lady Cov- 
entry has miscarried of one or two children, and is going 
on with one or two more, and is gone to France to-day. 
Lady Townshend and Lady Caroline Petersham have had 
their anniversary quarrel, and the Duchess of Devonshire 
has had her secular Assembly, which she keeps once in 
fifty years ; she was more delightfully vulgar at it than you 

can imagine I am ashamed to send you such nonsense, 

or to tell you how the good women at Hampton Court 
are scandalized at Princess Emily's coming to chapel 
last Sunday with a dog under her arm ; but I am bid to 
send news : what can one do at such a dead time of year ? 
I must conclude, as my Lady Gower did very well t'other 
day in a letter into the country, Since the two Misses were 
hanged, and the two Misses were married, there is nothing 
at all talked of. Adieu ! 


Letter to Henry Conway (1732) 


No newes can stir but by his doore ; neither can he know 
that, which hee must not tell : What everie man ventures 
in Guiana voyage, and what they gained, he knowes to a 
haire. Whether Holland will have peace hee knowes, and 
on what conditions ; and with what successe, is familiar 
to him ere it bee concluded. No post can passe him 


without a question; and rather than he will leese the 
newes, hee rides backe with him to appose him of tidings ; 
and then to the next man hee meets, hee supplies the 
wants of his hasty intelligence, and makes up a perfect 
tale ; ... If hee but see two men talke and reade a letter 
in the street, hee runnes to them, and asks if he may not 
be partner of that secret relation ; and if they denie it, 
hee offers to tell, since he may not heare, woonders : and 
then falles upon the report of the Scotish Mine, or of the 
great fish taken up at Linne, or of the freezing of the 
Thames ; . . . His tongue like the taile of Sampsons foxes 
carries fire-brands, and is enough to set the whole field of 
the world on a flame. Himselfe beginnes table-talke of 
his neighbour at anothers boord ; to whom he beares the 
first newes, and adjures him to conceale the reporter : 
whose cholericke answer he returnes to this first host, 
inlarged with a second edition : so, as it uses to be done in 
the sight of unwilling mastives, hee claps each on the side 
apart, and provokes them to an eager conflict ; There 
can no Act passe without his Comment, which is ever 
far-fetcht, rash, suspicious, delatorie. His eares are long, 
and his eyes quicke, but most of all to imperfection, 
which as he easily sees, so he increases with intermedling. 
Hee harbours another mans servant, and amiddes his 
entertainment asks what fare is usuall at home, what 
houres are kept, what talke passeth their mcales, what his 
masters disposition is, what his government, what his 
guests ? And when hee hath by curious enquiries extracted 
all the juice and spirit of hoped intelligence, turnes him 
off whence he came, and works on a new. 


Characters of Vertues and Vices 



Amaranthus, the Philosopher, met Hermocles, Diophantus, 
and Philolaus, his companions, one day busily discoursing 
about Epicurus and Democritus tenents, very solicitous 
which was most probable and came nearest to truth ; to 
put them out of that surly controversie and to refresh their 
spirits, he told them a pleasant tale of Stratocles the Phy- 
sitian's wedding, and of all the particulars, the company, 
the cheere, the musicke, &c, for he was new come from 
it, with which relation they were so much delighted, that 
Philolaus wished a blessing to his heart, and many a good 
wedding, many such merry meetings might he be at, to 
please himself with the sight., and others with the narration 
of it. Newes are generally welcome to all our eares . . . 
we long after rumour to heare and listen to it ... Wee 
are most part too inquisitive and apt to harken after newes, 
which Caesar . . . observes of the old Gauls, they would be 
enquiring of every Carrier and Passenger, what they had 
heard or scene, what newes abroad ? ROBERT BURTON 

The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 


" I do so hate gossip," she murmured. 

" How I hate it too ! " I heard myself exclaim. 

" There is so much that is good and noble in human 
nature ; why not talk of that ? " 

" Why not indeed ? " I sighed. 

" I always feel that it is one's own fault if one dislikes 
people, or finds them boring." 


<c How I agree with you ! " I cried sincerely. 

" But people are nowadays so cynical they sneer at 
everything that makes life worth living Love, Faith, 
Friendship " 

" And yet those very names are so lovely that even 
when used in mockery they shine like stars." 

" How beautifully you put it ! I have so enjoyed our 
talk." I had enjoyed it too, and felt all the better for it, only 
a little giddy and out of breath, as if I had been up in a 
balloon. LOGAN PEARSALL SMITH, More Trivia (1922) 



In Love and the Mathematicks People reason alike : Allow 
never so little to a Lover, yet presently after you must 
grant him more ; nay more and more, which will at last go 
a great way : In like manner, grant but a Mathematician 
one little Principle, he immediately draws a consequence 
from it, to which you must necessarily assent ; and from 
this consequence another, till he leads you so far (whether 
you will or no) that you have much ado to believe -him. 
These two sorts of People, Lovers and Mathematicians, 
will always take more than you give 'em. 

B. DE FONTENELLE, A Plurality of Worlds (1686) 
Trans. John Glanvill (1688) 


In matters of commerce, the fault of the Dutch 
Is giving too little and asking too much. 

GEORGE CANNING (c. 1 822) 


Croesus having heard from the Lydians that Alcmaion 
had done him service, sent for him to Sardia ; and when 
he came, he offered to give him a gift of as much gold as 
he could carry away at once upon his own person. With 
a view to this gift, its nature being such, Alcmaion made 
preparations and used appliances as follows : he put on a 
large tunic leaving a deep fold in the tunic to hang down 
in front, and he drew on his feet the widest boots which he 
could find, and so went to the treasury to which they con- 
ducted him. Then he fell upon a heap of gold-dust, and 
first he packed in by the side of his legs so much of the 
gold as his boots would contain, and then he filled the whole 
fold of the tunic with the gold, and sprinkled some of the 
gold-dust on the hair of his head, and took some into his 
mouth, and having so done he came forth out of the treasury, 
with difficulty dragging along his boots and resembling 
anything in the world rather than a man ; for his mouth 
was stuffed full, and every part of him was swelled out : 
and upon Croesus came laughter when he saw him, and he 
not only gave him all that, but also presented him in 
addition with more not inferior in value to that. Thus 
this house became exceedingly wealthy, and thus the 
Alcmaion of whom I speak became a breeder of chariot 
horses and won a victory at Olympia. HERODOTUS 

History. (5th c B.C.) Trans. G. C. Macaulay 




I have put the last Hand to my works of this kind, in 
happily finishing the subterraneous Way and Grotto : I 
there found a Spring of the clearest Water, which falls in 
a perpetual rill, that echoes through the Cavern day and 
night. From the River Thames, you see thro' my Arch up 
a Walk of the Wilderness, to a kind of open Temple, 
wholly compos J d of Shells in the Rustic Manner ; and from 
that distance under the Temple you look down thro' a 
sloping Arcade of Trees, and see the Sails on the River 
passing suddenly and vanishing, as thro' a Perspective 
Glass. When you shut the Doors of this Grotto, it becomes 
on the instant, from a luminous Room a Camera obscura ; 
on the walls of which all the Objects of the River, Hills, 
Woods and Boats, are forming a moving Picture in their 
visible Radiations : and when you have a mind to light it 
up, it affords you a very different Scene ; it is finished with 
Shells interspersed with Pieces of Looking-glass in angular 
forms : and in the Ceiling is a Star of the same Material, 
at which when a lamp (of an orbicular Figure of thin 
Alabaster) is hung in the Middle, a thousand pointed 
Rays glitter, and are reflected over the Place. There are 


connected to this Grotto by a narrower Passage two 
Porches, with Niches and Seats ; one toward the River ; of 
smooth Stones, full of light, and open ; the other toward 
the Arch of Trees, rough with Shells, Flints, and Iron- 
Ore. The Bottom is paved with simple Pebble, as the ad- 
joining walk up the Wilderness to the Temple, is to be 
cockle-shells, in the natural Taste, agreeing not ill with the 
little dripping Murmur, and the Aquatic Idea of the whole 
Place. It wants nothing to compleat it but a good Statue 
with an Inscription, like that beautiful antique one which 
you know I am so fond of, 

Hujus Nympha loci, sacri custodia fontis, 
Dormio, dum blandae sentio murmur aquae, 

Parce meum, quisquis tangis cava marmora, somnum 
Rumpere ; sen bibas, sive lavare, tace. 

Nymph of the Grot, these sacred Springs I keep, 
And to the Murmur of these Waters sleep ; 
Ah spare my slumbers, gently tread the cave ! 
And drink in silence, or in silence lave I 

You'll think I have been very Poetical in this Description, 
but it is pretty near the Truth. I wish you were here to 
bear Testimony how little it owes to Art, either the Place 
itself, or the Image I give of it. ALEXANDER POPE 

Letter to Edward Blount (1725) 

(He had greatly inlarged and improved this Grotto not 
long before his death : and, by incrusting it about with a 
great number of ores and minerals of the richest and rarest 
kinds, it was become one of the most elegant and romantic 


retirements any where to be seen. He has made it the 
subject of a very pretty poem of a singular cast and 
composition.) WILLIAM WARBURTON (1751) 

Thou who shalt stop, where Thames' translucent wave 
Shines a broad Mirror thro' the shadowy Cave ; 
Where ling'ring drops from min'ral Roofs distill. 
And pointed Crystals break the sparkling Rill, 
Unpolish'd Gems no ray on Pride bestow, 
And latent Metals innocently glow ; 
Approach. Great NATURE studiously behold ! 
And eye the Mine without a wish for Gold. 
Approach : But awful ! Lo ! th' Algerian Grott, 
Where, nobly pensive, ST JOHN sate and thought ; 
Where British sighs from dying WYNDHAM stole, 
And the bright flame was shot thro 5 MARCHMONT'S 


Let such, such only, tread this sacred Floor, 
Who dare to love their Country, and be poor. 


On his GROTTO at Twickenham, composed of Marbles , 
Spars, Gemms, Ores, and Minerals 

The improving and finishing his Grott was the favourite 
amusement of his declining Years ; and the beauty of his 
poetic genius, in the disposition and ornaments of this 
romantic recess, appears to as much advantage as in his 
best contrived Poems. WILLIAM WARBURTON (1751) 



Being under the necessity of making a subterraneous 
passage to a garden on the other side of the road, he 
adorned it with fossil bodies, and dignified it with the title 
of a grotto ; a place of silence and retreat, from which he 
endeavoured to persuade his friends and himself that cares 
and passions could be excluded. 

A grotto is not often the wish or pleasure of an English- 
man, who has more frequent need to solicit than exclude 
the sun ; but Pope's excavation was requisite as an 
entrance to his garden, and, as some men try to be proud 
of their defects, he extracted an ornament from an incon- 
venience, and vanity produced a grotto where necessity 
enforced a passage. It may be frequently remarked of 
the studious and speculative ; that they are proud of trifles, 
and that their amusements seem frivolous and childish ; t 
whether it be that men conscious of great reputation 
think themselves above the reach of censure, and safe in 
the admission of negligent indulgences or that man- 
kind expect from elevated genius an uniformity of great- 
ness, and watch its degradation with malicious wonder ; 
like him who, having followed with his eye an eagle into 
the clouds, should lament that she ever descended to a 
perch. SAMUEL JOHNSON, Life of Pope (1781) 


My Palace, in the living Rock, is made 

By Nature's Hand ; a spacious pleasing Shade : 

Which neither Heat can pierce, nor Cold invade. 

JOHN DRYDEN, Acis, Polyphemus and Galatea (1700) 
From Ovid's Metamorphoses (c. 5 B.C.) 



He did delight to be in the darke, and told me he could 
then best contemplate. He had a house heretofore at 
Coombe, in Surrey, a good aire and prospect, where he 
had caves made in the earth, in which in summer time 
he delighted to meditate. JOHN AUBREY 

Brief Lives : William Harvey (c. 1680) 


On Wednesday night a small Vauxhall was acted for us 
at the grotto in the Elysian fields, which was illuminated 
with lamps, as were the thicket and the two little barks on 
the lake. With a little exaggeration, I could make you 
believe that nothing was ever so delightful. . . The evening 
was more than cool, and the destined spot anything but 
dry. There were not half lamps enough, and no music but 
an ancient militia-man, who played cruelly on a squeak- 
ing tabor and pipe. ... I could not help laughing as I sur- 
veyed our troop, which, instead of tripping lightly to 
such Arcadian entertainment, were hobbling down by 
the balustrades, wrapped up in cloaks and great-coats, 
for fear of catching cold. The Earl, you know, is bent 
double, the Countess very lame, I am a miserable walker, 
and the Princess, though as strong as a Brunswick lion, 
makes no figure in going down fifty-stone stairs. Except 
Lady Ann, and by courtesy Lady Mary, we were none 
of us young enough for a pastoral. We supped in the 
grotto, which is as proper to this climate as a sea-coal 
fire would be in the dog-days at Tivoli. 

HORACE WALPOLE, Letter to George Montagu (1770) 


The Lincolnshire lady who shewed him a grotto she had 
been making came off no better . . . Would it not be a 
pretty cool habitation in summer ? said she, Mr Johnson ? 
" I think it would. Madam (replied he) for a toad." 

HESTHER Piozzi, Anecdotes of Dr. Johnson (1786) 

(a) Brussels 

From hence we walked into the Park . . . nor is it less 
plesant than if in the most solitary recesses, so naturally 
is it furnish't with whatever may render it agreable, 
melancholy and country-like. Here is a stately heronry, 
divers springe of water, artificiall cascads, rocks, grotts ; 
one whereof is compos'd of the extravagant roots of trees, 
cunninly built and hung together with wires . . . 

From hence we were led into the Menag, and out of 
that into a most sweete and delicious garden, where was 
another grott of more neate and costly materials, full 
of noble statues, and entertaining us with artificial musiq ; 
but the hedge of water, in form of lattice-worke, which 
the fontanier caused to ascend out of the earth by 
degrees, exceedinly pleased and surpris'd me. 

JOHN EVELYN, Diary (Oct. 8, 1641) 

(b) Cardinal Richelieu's Villa at Ruell 

We then saw a large and very rare grotto of shell-worke, 
in the shape of satyres and other wild fancys : in the middle 


stands a marble table, on which a fountaine playes in 
divers formes of glasses, cupps, crosses, fanns, crownes, 
etc. Thene the fountainiere represented a showre of rayne 
from the topp, mett by small jetts from below. At going 
out, two extravagant musqueteeres shot us with a streme 
of water from their musket barrells. Before this grotto is 
a long poole into which ran divers spouts of water from 
leaden escalop basins. The viewing this paradise made 
us late at St Germains. 

Ibid. (Feb. 27, 1644) 

(c) St Germains 

Subterranean grotts and rocks, where are represented sev- 
erall objects in the manner of sceanes and other motions, 
by force of water, shewn by the light of torches onely; 
amongst these is Orpheus with his musiq; and the ani- 
malls, which dance after his harp ; in the second is the 
King and Dolphin ; in the third, is Neptune sounding his 
trumpet, his charriot drawne by sea-horses ; in the fourth, 
the story of Perseus and Andromeda ; mills, hermitages ; 
men fishing ; birds chirping ; and many other devices. 
There is also a dry grott to refresh in ; all having a fine 
prospect towards the river, and the goodly country about 

it, especially the forrest. 

Ibid. (Feb. 27, 1644) 

(d) Villa Borghese 

The grotto is very rare, and represents, among other 
devices, artificial raine, and sundry shapes of vessells, 
flowers, etc., which is effected by changing the heads of 
the fountains. Ibid. (Nov. 17, 1644) 


(e) Logo d'Agnano 

We tried the old experiment on a dog in the Grotto del 
Cane, or Charon's Cave. Whatever having life enters it, 
presently expires. Of this we made trial with two doggs, 
one of which we bound to a short pole to guide him the 
more directly into the further part of the den, where he 
was no sooner enter'd but, without the least noyse, or so 
much as a struggle ... we drew him out dead to all 
appearance ; but immediately plunging him into the 
adjoining lake, within lesse than halfe an hour he 
recover'd, and swimming to shore, ran away from us. We 
tried the same on another dogg, without the application 
of the water, and left him quite dead. The experiment has 
been made on men, as on that poore creature whom Peter 
of Toledo caus'd to go in ; likewise on some Turkish 
slaves ; two souldiers, and other foolehardy persons, who 
all perished, and could never be recover'd by the water of 
the lake, as are doggs ; for which many learned reasons 
have been offer'd. 

Ibid. (Feb. 8, 1645) 

(/) Grand Duke's Villa, Pratolino 

In another grotto is Vulcan and his family, the walls rich- 
ly composed of coralls, shells, copper, and marble figures, 
with the hunting of severall beasts, moving by the force 
of water. Here, having been well wash'd for our curiosity, 
we went down a large walk. 

Ibid. (May 1645) 



He maried . . . and lived at Enston, Oxon ; where having 
some land lyeing on the hanging of a hill faceing the south, 
at the foot whereof runnes a fine cleare streame which 
petrifies, and where is a pleasant solitude, he spake to his 
servant Jack Sydenham to gett a labourer to cleare some 
boscage which grew on the side of the hill, and also to dig 
a cavity in the hill to sitt, and read or contemplate. . . . 

Here in fine weather he would walke all night. . . . 

He did not encumber him selfe with his wife, but here 
enjoyed himselfe thus in this paradise till the war broke 
out. . . . 

Memorandum : the grotto below lookes just south ; so 
that when it artificially raineth, upon the turning of a cock, 
you are enterteined with a rainebow. In a very little pond 
(no bigger than a basin) opposite to the rock, and hard 
by, stood (1643, Aug. 8) a Neptune, neatly cutt in wood, 
holding his trident in his hand, and ayming with it at a 
duck which perpetually turned round with him, and a 
spaniel swimming after her which was very pretty. 


Brief Lives : Thomas Bushell (1680) 


The Grot he enter'd, Pumice built the Hall, 
And Tophi made the Rustick of the Wall ; 
The Floor, soft Moss, an humid Carpet spread, 
And various shells the chequer'd Roof inlaid. 

'Twas now the Hour when the declining Sun 
Two Thirds had of his daily Journey run ; 
At the spread Table Theseus took his Place, 
Next his Companions in the daring Chace ; . . . . 
The Nymphs were Waiters, and with naked Feet 
In order serv'd the Courses of the Meat. 
The Banquet done, delicious Wine they brought, 
Of one transparent Gem the Cup was wrought. 


Metamorphoses (c. 5 B.C.) 
Trans. Mr. Vernon (1713) 

At the head of the port there is a large-leafed olive ; and 
near it a delightful cave, shaded, sacred to the Nymphs, 
who are called Naiads. And there are stone cups and 
casks in it ; and there then the bees stow away their 
honey. And in it there are stone distaffs of a great length, 
and there the Nymphs weave their sea-purple robes, a 
marvel to behold. And in it there are perpetual flowing 
waters ; and it has two doors : these to the North to be 
descended by men, but those on the other hand, to the 
South, are more sacred ; nor do men enter at all by that 
way ; but it is the way of the immortals. 


Odyssey 9 Book XIII 
Trans. T. A. Buckley (1860) 




To encounter feast with houswifry, 
In one roome fiftie women did apply 
Their several! tasks. Some, apple-colourd corne 
Ground in faire quernes, and some did spindles 


Some worke in loomes ; no hand, least rest receives ; 
But all had motion, apt as Aspen leaves, 
And from the weeds they wove, (so fast they laid, 
And so thicke thrust together, thred by thred) 
That th'oile (of which the wooll had drunke his fill) 
Did with his moisture, in light dewes distill. 
As much as the Phaeacian men exceld 
All other countrimen, in art to build 
A swift-saild ship ; so much the women there, 
For worke of webs, past other women were. 
Past meane, by Pallas meanes, they understood 
The grace of good works ; and had wits as good. 


Odyssey. Book VII 
Trans. George Chapman (1614) 



I know no happier-looking woman of the tranquilly happy 
sort than Mrs. J. since she took to making Dresden china 
of leather for the Roman Catholic bazaars. 


Letter to William Dods (Unpublished. No date) 



Touching corporall beautie, before I goe any further, it 
were necessarie I knew whether we are yet agreed about 
her description. It is very likely that we know not well, 
what beautie either in nature or in generall is, since we give 
so many, and attribute so diverse formes to humane 
beautie. ... Of which if there were any naturall or lively 
description, we should generally know it, as we doe the 
heat of fire. We imagine and faine her formes, as our 
fantaisies lead us. ... The Indians describe it blacke and 
swarthy, with blabbered-thick lips, with a broad and flat 
nose, the inward gristle whereof they loade with great 
gold-rings, hanging downe to their mouth, and their 
neather lips with great circlets beset with precious stones, 
which cover all their chins, deeming it an especiall grace to 
shew their teeth to the roots. In Peru> the greatest eares 


ar ever esteemed the fairest. . . . There are other Nations 
who endevour to make there teeth as blacke as Jeat, and 
skorne to have them white, and in other places they die 
them red. Not onely in the province ofBaske, but in other 
places, women are accounted fairest when their heads 
are shaven ; and which is strange, in some of the Northerly 
frozen-countries, as Plinie affirmeth. Those of Mexico, 
esteeme the littlenesse of their foreheads, as one of the 
chiefest beauties. . . . Amongst us, one would have her 
white, another browne, one soft and delicate, another 
strong and lustie : some desire wantonnesse and blithnesse, 
and othersome sturdinesse and majestic to be joyned with 
it. Even as the preheminence in beautie, which Plato 
ascribeth unto the sphericall figure, the Epicurians refer 
the same into the Piramidall or Squat. . . . We are excelled 
in comelinesse by many living creatures. . . . Concerning 
those of the Sea . . . both in colour, in neatnesse, in 
smoothnesse, and in disposition, we must give place unto 
them : which in all qualities we must likewise do to the 

Essays (1580). Trans. John Florio (1603) 


And first of all, my hart gan to learne 
Right well to regester, in remembraunce 
Howe that her beauty I might then discerne 
From toppe to tooe, endued with pleasaunce, 
Whiche I shall shewe, withouten variaunce. 
Her shining heere so properly she dresses 
Aloft her foreheade, with fayre golden tresses. 


Her forheade stepe, with fayre browes ybent, 

Her eyen gray, her nose straight and fayre. 

In her white cheekes the faire bloude it went 

As among the wite, the redde to repayre. 

Her mouthe right small, her breathe swete of ay re, 

Her lippes soft, and ruddy as a rose. 

No hart on live, but it would him appose. 

With a little pitte in her well favoured chynne, 

Her neck long, as white as any lilly, 

With vaynes blewe, in which the bloude ranne in, 

Her pappes rounde, and therto right prettye, 

Her armes slender, and of goodly bodye, 

Her fingers small and therto right long, 

White as the milke with blewe vaynes among. 

Her fete proper, she gartred well her hose. 
I never saw so fayre a creature. 
Nothing she lacketh, as I do suppose, 
That is longyng to faire dame Nature. 
Yet more over, her countenaunce so pure 
So swete, so lovely, would any hart enspire 
With fervent love, to attayne his desire. 


The Passetyme of Pleasure (1509) 


Sweet she was, as kind a love 
As ever fetter'd swayne ; 

Never such a daynty one 
Shall man enjoy again 

Sett a thousand on a rowe 

I forbid that any showe 
Ever the like of her 

Hey nonny nonny noe. 

Face she had of filberd hue. 

And bosm'd like a swan ; 
Back she had of bended ewe. 

And wasted by a span. 
Haire she had as black as crowe 

From the head unto the toe, 
Downe, downe, all over her 

Hye nonny nonny noe. 

She smiled like a Holy-day 

And simpred like the Spring, 
She pranck't it like a popingaie 

And like a swallow sing, 
She trip't it like a barren doe, 

She strutted like a gor-crowe, 
Which made the men so fond of her 

Hye nonny nonny noe. 

ANON (c. 1640) 


When he descended downe the mount, 
His personage seemed most divine, 
A thousand graces one might count, 
Upon his lovely cheereful eine, 
To heare him speake and sweetely smile, 
You were in Paradise the while. 

A sweete attractive kinde of grace, 

A full assurance given by lookes, 

Continuall comfort in a face, 

The lineaments of Gospell books, 
I trowe that countenaunce cannot lie, 
Whose thoughts are legible in the eie 

Was never eie, did see that face, 
Was never eare, did heare that tong, 
Was never minde, did minde his grace, 
That ever thought the travell long, 
But eies, and eares, and every thought 
Were with his sweete perfections caught. 


An Elegie, or friends passion for his Astrophill 
The Phoenix Nest (1593) 


To see his face, the Lyon walkt along, 

Behind some hedge, because he wold not fear him : 

To recreate himself, when he hath song, 

The Tiger would be tame, and gently heare him ; 

If he had spoke, the Wolfe would leave his pray, 

And never fright the silly lamb that day. 

When he beheld his shadow in a brooke, 
The fishes spred on it their golden gils : 
When he was by, the birds such pleasure tooke, 
That some would sing, some other in their bils 
Would bring him mulberries, and ripe red chereries, 
He fed them with his sight, they him with berries. 


Venus and Adonis (1593. Edition 1607) 


He was a tall, handsome, and bold man. . . . His beard 
turned up naturally. ... He had a most remarkeable 
aspect, an exceeding high forehead, long-faced, and sour 
eie-lidded, a kind of pigge-eie. 

JOHN AUBREY, Brief Live s (c. 1680) 


Richard Lovelace, esq : he was a most beautifull gentle- 

man * Geminum, seu lumina, sydus, 

Et dignos Baccho digitos, et Apolline crines, 
Impubesque genas, et eburnea colla, decusque 
Oris, et in niveo mustum candore ruborem. 

Obiit in a cellar in Long Acre, a little before the 
restauration of his majestie. . . . One of the handsomest 
men of England. Ibid. 


She was a most beautiful desireable creature ; . . . She 
had a most lovely and sweet-turn'd face, delicate darke- 
browne haire. She had a perfect healthy constitution ; 
strong ; good skin ; well-proportioned ; much enclining to 
a Bona Roba. . . Her face, a short oval ; darke-browne 
eie-browe, about which much sweetness, as also in the 
opening of her eie-lidds. The colour of her cheekes 
was just that of the damaske rose, which is neither 
too hott nor too pale. She was of a just stature, not very 
tall. Ibid. 


If she be faire, as the saying is, she is commonly a foole. 


The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 


I Beheld her on a Day, 
When her looke out-flourisht May ; 
And her dressing did out-brave 
All the Pride, the fields than have 


A Celebration of Chans : How he saw her (published 1640) 


See the Chariot at hand here of love 

Wherein my Lady rideth ! 
Each that drawes is a Swan, or a Dove 

And well the Carre Love guideth 
As she goes, all hearts doe duty 

Unto her beauty ; 

And enamour'd, doe wish, so they might 
But enjoy such a sight, 
That they still were, to run by her side, 
Through Swords, through Seas, whether she 
would ride. 

Doe but looke, on her eyes ! They doe light 
All that Loves World compriseth ! 

Doe but looke on her Haire, it is bright 
As Loves starre, when it riseth ! 


Doe but marke her forhead's smoother 

Then words that soothe her ! 

And from her arched browes, such a grace 

Sheds it selfe through the face, 
As alone there triumphs to the life 
All the Gaine, all the Good, of the Elements 

Have you scene but a bright Lillie grow. 

Before rude hands have touch'd it ? 
Ha'you mark'd but the fall o'the Snow 

Before the soyle hath smutch'd it ? 
Ha'you felt the wooll of Bever ? 

Or Swans Downe ever ? 
Or have smelt o'the bud o'the Brier ? 

Or tasted the Nard in the fire ? 
Or have tasted the bag of the Bee ? 
O so white ! O so soft ! O so sweet is she ! 

Ibid. Her Triumph 


Because great eyes in Turkey are esteemed an excellencie, 
therefore Mahomet, well knowing their desire, promiseth 
them in his Paradise, wenches with great eyes like saucers. 


Anthropometamorphosis, or The Artificial Changeling 



That face must needs be plain that wants a nose. Ibid. 


A Man shall see Faces, that if you examine them Part 
by Part, you shall finde never a good ; And yet all together 
doe well. 


Essay es : Of Beauty (1625) 


As a child she was remarkable for her large black eyes 
with their long curved lashes. As a girl, she was extremely 
pretty a graceful and beautifully formed figure, upright 
and supple, a delicate complexion of creamy white with a 
pale rose tint in the cheeks, lovely eyes full of fire and soft- 
ness, and with great depths of meaning. Her head was 
finely formed, with a noble arch and a broad forehead. 
Her other features were not regular ; but they did not 
prevent her conveying all the impression of being beauti- 
ful. ... She danced with much grace. 


In Memoriam Jane Welsh Carlyle (1866) 


My first dash into poetry was as early as 1800. It was the 
ebullition of a passion for my first Cousin Margaret 
Parker . . . one of the most beautiful of evanescent be- 
ings. . . . Her dark eyes ! her long eye-lashes ! her com- 
pletely Greek cast of face and figure ! I was then about 
twelve She rather older, perhaps a year. ... I do 


not recollect scarcely anything equal to the transparent 
beauty of my cousin. . . . She looked as if she had been 
made out of a rainbow all beauty and peace. 


Detached Thoughts (1821-2) 


In external appearance Byron realised that ideal standard 
with which imagination adorns genius. He was in the 
prime of life, thirty-five ; of middle height, five feet eight 
and a half inches ; regular features, without a stain or fur- 
row on his pallid skin, his shoulders broad, chest open, 
body and limbs finely proportioned. His small, highly 
finished head and curly hair had an airy and graceful 
appearance from the massiveness and length of his throat ; 
you saw his genius in his eyes and lips. In short, Nature 
could do little more than she had done for him. . . . There 
was no peculiarity in his dress, it was adapted to the climate ; 
a tartan jacket braided he said it was the Gordon pat- 
tern, and that his mother was of that ilk. A blue velvet 
cap with a gold band, and very loose nankeen trousers, 
strapped down so as to cover his feet : his throat was not 
bare, as represented in drawings. 


Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron (1858) 

His appearance at that time was the finest I ever saw it, 
a great deal finer than it was afterwards, when he was 
abroad. He was fatter than before his marriage, but only 


just enough so to complete the manliness of his person ; 
and the turn of his head and countenance had a spirit and 
leevation in it, which though not unmixed with disquiet, 
gave him altogether a nobler look than I ever knew him to 
have, before or since. His dress, which was black, with 
white trowsers, and which he wore buttoned close over the 
body, completed the succinctness and gentlemanliness O A 
his appearance. 

Lord Byron and some of his Contemporaries (1828) 


He was of a middle stature, of a slender and exactly 
well-proportion'd shape in all parts, his complexion faire, 
his hayre of light browne, very thick sett in his youth, 
softer than the finest silke, and curling into loose greate 
rings att the ends ; his eies of a lively grey, well-shaped 
and full of life and vigour, graced with many becoming 
motions ; his visage thinne, his mouth well made, and his 
lipps very ruddy and gracefull, allthough the nether chap 
shut over the upper, yett it was in such a manner as was 
not unbecoming ; his teeth were even and white as the 
purest ivory, his chin was something long, and the mold 
of his face, his forehead was not very high ; his nose was 
rays'd and sharp, but withall he had a most amiable 
countenance, which carried in it something of magnani- 
mity and majesty mixt with sweetenesse, that at the same 
time bespoke love and awe in all that saw him ; his skin 
was smooth and white, his legs and feete excellently well- 
made, he was quick in his pace and turnes, nimble and 


active and gracefull in all his motions, he was apt for any 
bodily exercise, and any that he did became him ; ... he 
was wonderful neate, cleanly, and gentile in his habitt, 
and had a very good fancy in it, but he left off very early 
the wearing of aniething that was costly, yett in his plainest 
negligent habitt appear'd very much a gentleman. 


To her Children concerning their Father (c. 1665) 


Europeans have a quite different idea of beauty from us. 
When I reflect on the small-footed perfections of an 
Eastern beauty, how is it possible I should have eyes for 
a woman whose feet are ten inches long ? I shall never 
forget the beauties of my native city of Nanfew. How 
very broad their faces ! how very short their noses ! 
how very little their eyes ! how very thin their lips ! how 
very black their teeth ! the snow on the tops of Bao is not 
fairer than their cheeks ; and their eyebrows as small as the 
line by the pencil of Quamsi. Here a lady with such per- 
fections would be frightful; Dutch and Chinese beauties, 
indeed, have some resemblance, but English women are 
entirely different; red cheeks, big eyes, and teeth of a most 
odious whiteness, are not only seen here, but wished for ; 
and then they have such masculine feet, as actually serve 
some for walking ! 


Letters from a Citizen of the World to his Friends in the 

East (1762) 


This amazing, confounding, admirable, amiable Beauty, 
than which in all Natures treasure, (saith Isocrates), there 
is nothing so majesticall and sacred, nothing so divine, lovely, 
pretious, 'tis natures Crown, gold and glory ; . . . speak Alci- 
baides, though drunk, we will willingly hear thee as thou 
art. Faults in such are no faults. For when the said 
Alcibiades had stoln Anytus his gold and silver plate, he 
was so far from prosecuting so foul a fact (though every 
man else condemned his imprudence and insolvency) 
that he wished it had been more, and much better (he 
loved him dearly) for his sweet sake. No worth is eminent 
in such lovely persons, all imperfection hid ; ... for hearing, 
sight, touch, etc., our mind and all our senses are capti- 
vated. . . . O vis superba formae, a Goddess beauty is, 
whom the very Gods adore, . . . she is Amoris domina, 
loves harbinger, loves loadstone, a witch, a charm, etc. 
Beauty is a dowre of it self, a sufficient patrimony, an 
ample commendation, an accurate epistle. Beauty deserves 
a Kingdome, and more have got this honour and eternity for 
their beauty than for all other vertues besides : and such as 
are fair are worthy to be honoured of God and men. That 
Idalian Ganymedes was therefore fetched by Jupiter into 
Heaven, Hephestion dear to Alexander, Antinous to Adrian. 
Plato calls beauty, for that cause, natures master-piece. 
. . . They will adore, cringe, complement, and bow to a 
common wench (if she be fair) as if she were a noble 
woman, a Countess, a Queen, or a goddess. Those 
intemperate young men of Greece erected at Delphi a 
golden Image, with infinite cost, to the eternal memory of 
Phryne the curtizan, as JElian relates, for she was a most 
beautiful woman. Thus yong men will adore and honour 
KP 289 

beauty ; nay Kings themselves I say will . . . voluntarily 
submit their soveraignty to a lovely woman. . . . When 
they have got gold and silver, they submit all to a beautiful 
woman, give themselves wholly to Her, gape and gaze on her, 
and all men desire her more than gold or silver, or any 
pretious thing : they will leave father and mother, and 
venture their lives for her. . . . When as Troy was taken, and 
the wars ended . . . angry Menelaus, with rage and fury 
armed, came with his sword drawn to have killed Helena 
with his own hands, as being the sole cause of all those 
wars and miseries : but when he saw her fair face, as one 
amazed at her divine beauty, he let his weapon fall, and 
embraced her besides, he had no power to strike so sweet 
a creature. . . . Hiperides the orator, when Phryne his 
client was accused at Athens for her lewdness, used no 
other defence in her cause, but tearing her upper 
garment, disclosed her naked breast to the Judges, with 
which comeliness of her body, and amiable gesture, they 
were so moved and astonished, that they did acquit her 
forthwith, and let her go. O noble piece of Justice, mine 
author exclaims, and who is he that would not rather 
lose his seat and robes, forfeit his office, than give sentence 
against the majesty of beauty ? Such prerogatives have 
fair persons, and they alone are free from danger. Parth- 
enopaeus was so lively and fair, that when he fought in the 
Theban wars, if his face had been by chance bare, no 
enemy would offer to strike at, or hurt him. Such im- 
munities hath beauty ; beasts themselves are moved with 
it. Sinalda was a woman of such excellent feature, and a 
Queen, that when she was to be trodden on by wild 
horses for a punishment, the wild beasts stood in admiration 
of her person . . . and would not hurt her. ... I could tell 
you such another story of a spindle that was fired by a 


fair ladies looks, or fingers, some say, I know not well 
whether, but fired it was by report, and of a cold bath 
that suddenly smoaked, and was very hot, when naked 
Caelia came into it ... men are mad, stupifyed many 
times at the first sight of beauty, amazed, as that fisher- 
man in Aristaenetus, that espied a maid bathing herself 
by the Sea side. . . . Charmides in Plato was a proper young 
man, . . . whensoever fair Charmides came abroad, they 
seem'd all to be in love with him. . . . the Athenian Lasses 
stared on Alcibiades ; Sapho and the Mitilean women on 
Phaon the fair. Such lovely sights do not onely please, 
entise, but ravish and amaze. Cleonimus, a delicate and 
tender youth, present at a feast which Androcles his uncle 
made in Piraeos at Athens, when he sacrificed to Mercury, 
so stupified the guests, . . . that they could not eat their 
meat, they sate all supper time gazing, glancing at him, 
stealing looks, and admiring of his beauty. Many will 
condemn these men that are so enamoured, for fools ; 
but some again commend them for it. ... Beauty is 
to be preferred. . . . Great Alexander married Roxane, a 
poor mans child, onely for her person. 'Twas well done 
of Alexander, and heroically done, I admire him for it. 


Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1652) 


In Sparta, long agoe, where Menelaus wore the crowne, 
Twelve noble Virgins, daughters to the greatest in the 

towne . . . 

Danst at the chamber doore of Helena the Queene, 
What time this Menelay, the younger son of Atreus, 


Did marry with this lovely daughter of Prince Tyndarus ; 
And therwithal, at eve, a wedding song they jointly sung. 
With such a shuffling of their feete that all the palace rung. 

Fair Bridegroome do you sleep ? Hath slumber all your 

lims possesst. 

What, are you drousie, or hath wine your bodie so oppresst 
That you are gone to bed ? For if you needes would take 

your rest, 
You should have tane a season meete. Mean time, till it 

be daie, 
Suffer the Bride with us, and with her mother deere to 

plaie. . . . 

For we, her peers in age, whose course of life is evne the 


Who at Eurotas streames like men are oiled to the game : 
And foure times sixtie maides, of all the weemen youth 

we are ; 

Of these none wants a fault, if her with Hellen we compare, 
Like as the rising Morning shewes a gratefull lightening, 
When sacred night is past, and winter nowe lets loose the 


So glittering Hellen shinde among the maides, lustie and tal, 
As is the furrowe in a field that far outstretcheth al ; 
Or in a garden is a Cypres tree ; or in a trace 
A steede of Thessalie ; so shee to Sparta was a grace. . . . 

O faire, O lovely Maide, a matrone now is made of thee ! 
But wee wil everie spring, unto the leaves in meadowes goe 
To gather Garlands sweete, and there, not with a little 


Will often think of thee. . . . ANON 

Sixe Idillia from Theocritus translated into English 

verse (1588) 




Philemon, a Comick Poet, died with extreme laughter at 

the conceit of seeing an asse eate figs. THO MAS NASHE 

The Unfortunate Traveller (1594) 


The manner of his [Anacreon's] death is said to have been 
very extraordinary, for they tell us he was choaked with 
a grape-stone, which he swallowed as he was regaling on 
some new wine. Mr Cowley, who has so happily imitated 
the style and manner of Anacreon, has honoured him 
with an elegy in his own strain, which concludes in this 
manner : 

It grieves me when I see what Fate 
Does on the best of Mankind wait. 
Poets or Lovers let them be, 
'Tis neither Love nor Poesie 
Can arm against Deaths smallest dart 
The Poets Head, or Lovers Heart. 

But when their Life in its decline. 

Touches th' Inevitable Line, 

All the Worlds Mortal to 'em then, 

And Wine is Aconite to men. 

Nay in DeatJis Hand the Grape-stone proves 

As strong as Thunder is injoves. 

Biographical Dictionary (1755) 


Or, as Fabius a Senator of Rome, and Lord chiefe Justice 
besides, who in a draught of milk fortuned to swallow a 
small haire, which strangled him. 

PLINY, Natural History (c. 77) 
Trans. Philemon Holland (1601) 


Heliogabalus, the most dissolute man of the world, 
amidst his riotous sensualities, intended, whensoever 
occasion should force him to it, to have a daintie death. 
Which, that it might not degenerate from the rest of his 
life, he had purposely caused a stately towre to be built, 
the nether part and fore-court whereof was floored with 
boardes richly set and enchased with gold and precious 
stones, from-off which he might headlong thro we himselfe 
downe : He had also caused cordes to be made of gold 
and crimson silke there with to strangle himselfe: and a rich 


golden rapier, to thrust himselfe through : and kept poison 
in boxes of Emeraldes and Topases, to poison himselfe 
with, according to the humor he might have, to chuse 
which of these deaths should please him. 


Essays : Of judging of others death (1580) 
Trans. John Florio (1603) 


Plirtie reporteth of a certaine Hiperborean nation, wherin, 
by reason of the mild temperature of the aire, the inhabi- 
tants thereof commonly never dye, but when they please 
to make themselves away, and that being weary and tired 
with living, they are accustomed at the end of a long-long 
age, having first made merry and good cheare with their 
friends, from the top of a high-steepy rocke, appointed 
for that purpose, to cast themselves headlong into the 


Essays : A Custom of the Isle of Cea (1580) 
Trans. John Florio (1603) 


Caius Gallus ... in a good old Age, as he was sitting in 
his Study, with his Head and his Hands full of his Astron- 
omy > went away as peaceably as an Infant ; and as it 
happened, while I was in the Room with him. 

CICERO, De Senectute (45 B.C.) 
Trans. Samuel Parker (1704) 



For either Death puts the Soul out of being, and there's 
an end of the matter; or else it translates it to a State of in- 
defeasible Security, and then we cannot wish for a happier 
Change. . . . Can any Thing be more natural than for a 
Man to die in his Old Age ? ... An Old Man's Trunk 
wastes kindly, takes its own Time, and glimmers off into 
Ashes. So agen, 'tis harsh and violent to pluck an Apple 
from the Tree before 'tis ripe ; let it hang till the Sun has 
fully completed its Maturation, and then 'twil soon fall of 
its own Accord. ... As I advance nearer and nearer to the 
finishing Crisis, I look upon myself as making to Shore, 
and upon the Point of sliding into Harbour after a tedious 
Voyage. . . . How fortunate is the Man that retains all the 
Powers of his Soul and the Use of his Senses unimpair'd 
till Nature's full Time is up, and she comes to take her 
own Work to Pieces in her own Way. . . . 'Twas Solon's 
Ambition and a celebrated Wish of his, That whenever he 
dy'd, his Friends would take it to Heart, and put on a Pomp 
of Sorrow for him ; . . . I declare for Ennius against him, 
Nemo me lacrymis, etc. 

Kind Heaven ! Whene're it comes to be my Turn, 
Avert wry Funeral Faces from my Urn. 

3 Tis very unaccountable (thought he) that People should 
make such a Rout about dying, when 'tis the ready Road 
to a State of Immortality. As for Agonies and Convulsions 
in the Article of expiring, they are over in a trice. . . . And 
then comes on either a final Cessation of all Perceptions, 
or else the most refin'd or improv'd ones. . . . Besides, as 


far as I can find by myself, a Man may be cloy'd and 
surfeited with one Thing after another in this World ; till 
it conies to that pass with him that Life its self shall lie 
upon his Hands. . . . Living becomes perfectly fulsome, 
and we grow impatient to receive our Discharge. 

And this is not all neither. For I must be so free with 
my Friends (and I hope no Offence) as to discover the 
secret and serious Persuasion of my Soul to them, with 
regard to the State of the Dead : ... At present we are all 
close Prisoners, immured with Flesh and Bones, and ty'd 
to the Toil and Tendence of a miserable but indispensable 
Servitude ; the Soul being of a Divine or Celestial Nature 
. . . plunged into a Tenement of Dirt, a Situation and Resi- 
dence disagreeable enough to a Being of an Immortal and 
Heavenly kind. ... I have held out the Race, and I don't 
desire to be brought agen to the Starting-Post ; and if 
Heaven should graciously make me this overture, If you 
have a Mind to't, you shall be remanded to a State of Infancy 
and go to Nurse again, I should humbly and earnestly 
pray to be excused. . . . My Foot is already in the Stirrup ; 
and I leave this World, not as a Man would leave his 
Mansion-House, but his Inn. How long art thou coming, 
Auspicious Hour ! When Fm to be releas'd out of these 
Territories of Dirt and Distraction, and incorporated into 
the sacred Society of the great Souls above. . . . Perhaps I 
may be too confident and overweaned in the Point of the 
Soul's Immortality ; if so, 'tis at least a very obliging 
Error, and I am so heartily in love with it, that I would 
not be disabus'd, methinks, for the World. > 




Let it be remember'd only . . . how often our own Legions 
have thrown themselves with an incredible Transport and 
Ardour upon such hot and desperate Services, that they 
could not suppose a single Man of them should come off 
again alive : Not to look up so high as our Heros of the 
first Order ; Lucius Brutus that dropt in the Prosecution 
of his Country's Deliverance ; the Decii that gallop'd full 
speed to a Death that they might have avoided ; Marcus 
AttiliuS) that rather than he would not be true to Articles, 
re-committed himself to the Malice and Indignation of 
the Enemy ; the two Scipios, that planted themselves as a 
Breast- Work, against the Impressions of the whole Car- 
thaginian Army, either to make an effectual Stand, or be 
cut in Pieces, in the Cause of the Commonwealth. . . . 
Marcus Marcellus, the noble circumstances of whose 
Death had such an Effect upon the savage Carthaginians 
themselves that they took Care he should be handsomely 



He that dies in an earnest Pursuit, is like one that is 
wounded in hot Bloud ; who, for the time, scarce feeles 
the Hurt ; And therefore, a Minde fixt, and bent upon 
somewhat that is good, doth avert the Dolors of Death ; 
But, above all, beleeve it, the sweetest Canticle, is Nunc 
dimittis ; when a Man hath obtained worthy Ends, and 
Expectations. Death hath this also ; That it openeth the 


Gate to good Fame, and extinguished! Envye Extinctus 
amdbitur idem. 

FRANCIS BACON, Essayes : Of Death (1625) 


He [Archbishop Leighton] used often to say, that if he 
were to choose a Place to die in, it should be an Inn ; it 
look'd like a Pilgrim's going Home. . . . He added, that 
the officious Tenderness, and care of Friends, was an 
Entanglement to a dying man, and that the unconcern'd 
Attendance of those that could be procur'd in such a place, 
would give less disturbance : and he obtain'd what he 
desir'd ; for he died at the Bell Inn, in Warwick Lane. 


History of his own Time (Pub. 1723-34) 


He was a very handsome man, a gracefull speaker, 

facetious, and well-beloved. I thinke he dyed of a merry 

symposiaque. JOHN AUBREY 

Brief Lives : Richard Martin (c. 1680) 


You may be glad to know the particulars of her happy 
exit. . . . 

I approached the bed. ..." Oh ! Mr Bedford," said 

she, in broken periods ..." A few a very few moments 
will end this strife And I shall be happy ! Comfort 
here, Sir " turning her head to the Colonel Comfort 
my cousin See ! the blameable kindness He would 
not wish me to be happy so soon \ " 

. . Then, resuming, ... u I am all blessed hope Hope 

She looked what she said, a sweet smile beaming over 
her countenance. 

After a short silence, " Once more, my dear cousin," 
said she ..." commend me most dutifully to my Father 
and Mother " There she stopt. And then proceeding 
" To my Sister, To my Brother, To my Uncles And tell 
them, I bless them with my parting breath for all their 
goodness to me Even for their displeasure, I bless them 
Most happy has been to me my punishment here ! 
Happy indeed ! " 

. . . Then, " O death ! " said she, " where is thy sting! " 
(The words I remember to have heard in the Burial- 
service read over my Uncle and poor Belton.) And after 
a pause, " It is good for me that I was afflicted ! " Words 
of Scripture, I suppose. 

Then, turning towards us, who were lost in speechless 
sorrow " O dear, dear gentlemen," said she, " you know 
not what foretastes, what assurances" And there she again 
stopt, and looked up, as if in a thankful rapture, sweetly 

Then turning her head towards me " Do you, Sir, 
tell your friend, that I forgive him ! And I pray to God to 
forgive him ! " Again pausing, and lifting up her eyes, as 
if praying that He would " Let him know how happily 
I die. And that such as my own, I wish to be his last 
hour. . . . 


My sight fails me ! Your voices only " (for we both 
applauded her Christian, her divine frame, tho' in accents 
as broken as her own) ..." Is not this Mr Morden's 
hand ? " pressing one of his ..." Which is Mr Bed- 
ford's ?"...! gave her mine. " God Almighty bless you 
both/' said she, " and make you both in your last hour 
for you must come to this happy as I am." . . . 

She paused again, her breath growing shorter ; and 
after a few minutes ..." And tell my dear Miss Howe 
and vouchsafe to see, and to tell my worthy Mrs Norton 
She will be one day, I fear not, tho' now lowly in her 
fortunes, a Saint in Heaven Tell them both, that I 
remember them with thankful blessings in my last 
moments ! " . . . 

Her sweet voice and broken periods methinks fill my 
ears, and never will be out of my memory. 

After a short silence ..." And you, Mr Bedford, press- 
ing my hand, may God preserve you, and make you 
sensible of all your errors You see, in me, how All ends 

May you be " And down sunk her head upon her 

pillow, she fainting away. . . . 

We thought she was then gone ; and each gave way to 
a violent burst of grief. 

But soon showing signs of returning life, our attention 
was again engaged ; and I besought her, when a little 
recovered, to complete in my favour her half-pronounced 
blessing. She waved her hand to us both, and bowed her 
head six several times, as we have since recollected, as if 
distinguishing every person present ; not forgetting the 
nurse and the maid-servant . . . and she spoke falteringly 
and inwardly, " Bless bless bless you All And now 

And now " (holding up her almost lifeless hands for 

the last time) " Come O come Blessed Lord JESUS ! " 


And with these words, the last but half-pronounced, 
expired : Such a smile, such a charming serenity over- 
spreading her sweet face at the instant as seemed to 
manifest her eternal happiness already begun. 

O Lovelace ! But I can write no more ! 


Clarissa. (Letter from Mr Bedford to Robert 
Lovelace Esq.) (1749) 


He [Bayle] died as he had lived, in the same uninterrupted 
habits of composition; for with his dying hand, and nearly 
speechless, he sent a fresh proof to the printer. 


Curiosities of Literature (1791-1823) 


He [Sir Richard Grenville] was borne into the ship called 
the Saint Paule, wherin was the Admirall of the fleet, 
Don Alonso de Barsan. There his woundes were drest by 
the Spanish surgeons ; . . . the Captaines and Gentlemen 
went to visite him . . . wondering 'at his courage and stout 
heart, for that he shewed not any signe of faintness, 
nor changing of colour : but feeling the hower of death to 
approach, hee spake these wordes in Spanish, and said, 
Here die I, Richard Greenfield, with a joyfull and quiet 
mind, for I have ended my life as a true soldier ought to 


do, that hath fought for his countrey, Queene, religion, 
and honour : whereby my soule most joyfull departheth 
out of this bodie, and shall leave alwaies behind it an 
everlasting fame of a valiant and true soldier, that hath 
done his dutie, as he was bound to doe. 

When hee had finished these, or such other like wordes, 
he gave up the ghost, with great and stout courage ; and 
no man could perceive any true signe of heavinesse in him. 


Discourse of Voyages to East and West Indies 
Trans, from Dutch (1598) 


When no longer able to stand, his [Wolfe's] only concern 
was lest the men should be disheartened by his fall 
" Support me," he whispered to an officer near him ; 
" let not my brave soldiers see me drop. The day is 
ours keep it." . . . 

The cry was heard, " They run they run ! " Like 
one suddenly aroused from heavy sleep, Wolfe demanded, 
with great earnestness, " Who run ? " " The enemy, 
Sir ... they give way everywhere." Thereupon the 
expiring hero . . . rejoined, " Go, one of you ... to Colonel 
Burton : tell him to march Webb's regiment with all 
speed down to Charles river, and cut off the retreat." . . . 
He then turned upon his side, and his last words were, 
" Now God be praised ; I die in peace ! " 

CAPTAIN KNOX, Journal of Campaigns (1769) 

[But the surgeon present reported his dying words to be cc Lay 
me down, I am suffocating." One can take one's choice.] 



" Is the wound a mortal one ? " asked Montcalm. 

" Yes," replied Arnoux. . . . 

" I am content/' replied Montcalm ; " how much 
longer have I to live ? 

" Not twenty-four hours." 

" So much the better," returned the dying man. " I 
shall not live to see the English masters of Quebec." 

ABB CASGRAIN, Wolfe and Montcalm (1905) 


IST MURDERER : . . . and then throwe him into the Mal- 

mesey-Butte in the next roome. 

2ND MURD. : O excellent device ; and make a sop of him. 

IST MURD. : Soft, he wakes. . . . 

CLARENCE : Where art thou Keeper ? Give me a cup of 


2ND MURD. : You shall have Wine enough my Lord anon. 


Richard III (1597. Edition 1623 folio) 


Attainted was hee by parliament and judged to the death, 
and thereupon hastely drouned in a Butt of Malmesey. 
SIR THOMAS MORE, History of Richard HI (1513) 


When therefore the King [Henry I] returned from hunt- 
ing, at St Denis in the forest of Lyons, he ate the flesh of 
lampreys, which always disagreed with him, and he al- 
ways loved them. But when his doctor forbade this food, 
the king did not acquiesce in this counsel of health. 


Historia Anglorum (1154) (Trans.) 

Ranulphe says, he [Henry I] tooke a surfet by etynge 
of a lamprey, and therof dyed. 

ROBERT FABYAN, Concordance of Histories (1516) 

[This seems an inferior version ; one would prefer to believe that 
poor Henry had more than one of his favourite fish before he died.] 


He King John passed the next night at a convent 
called Swineshead, where ... he surfeited himself with 
peaches and drinking new cider. ... He rode to Newark ; 
there his sickness increased, and he confessed himself and 
received the sacrament from the abbot of Croxton. 

ROGER OF WENDOVER, Flores Historiarum (1235) 


Petronius ... did not rashly kill himselfe, but cutting his 
vaines, and binding them up, as pleased him, opened them 


againe, and talked with his friends, though not of any seri- 
ous matter, . . . nothing of the immortality of the soul, or 
opinions of wise men ; but of light verses, and easie songs. 
On some of his slaves he bestowed gifts, and on some 
stripes. He went sometimes abroade, and gave himselfe to 
sleepe, that although his death was constrained, yet it 
should be like a casuall death. 


Annales (c. 100) 
Trans. Richard Grenewey (1598) 


When timely death my life and fortune ends, 
Let not my hearse be vext with mourning friends, 
But let all lovers rich in triumph come, 
And with sweet pastimes grace my happie tombe. 
And, Lesbia, close up thou my little light, 
And crowne with love my ever-during night. 


Book of Ay res ( 160 1 ) 


The parliament intended to have hanged him ; and he 
expected no lesse, but resolved to be hangd with the Bible 
under one arme and Magna Charta under the other. 


Brief Lives : David Jenkins (c. 1680) 


I feele no more perturbation within mee to departe this 
worlde, than I have done in my best health to aryse from 
table, when I have well dyned, and thence to retire to a 
pleasant walke. I have had my parte in this worlde, and 
now I must give place to fresh gamesters. Farewell. 


His Will (1618) 
(Pub. Thomas Hearne, Diary, 1707) 


The Phoenix faire which rich Arabia breedes, 

When wasting time expires hir tragedy 

No more on Phoebus radiant raise she feedes, 

But heapeth up great store of spicery 

And on a loftie towring Cedar tree. 

With heavenly substance, she hir selfe consumes. 

From whence she yoong againe appeeres to bee. 

Out of the Cinders of hir peerelesse plumes. 


Chloris (1596) 




I am sure, says the Countess, we have one great convenience 
in the situation of our World ; it is not so hot as Mercury 
or Venus, or so cold as Jupiter or Saturn ; and our Country 
is so justly plac'd, that we have no excess either of Heat or 
Cold. I have heard of a Philosopher, who gave thanks to 
Nature that he was born a Man, and not a Beast, a Greek, 
and not a Barbarian ; and for my part, I render thanks that 
I am seated in the most temperate Planet of the Universe, 
and in one of the most temperate Regions of that Planet. 
You have more reason, said I, to give thanks that you are 
Young, and not Old ; that you are Young and Handsome, 
and not Young and Ugly; that you are Young, Handsome, 
and an English Woman, and not Young, Handsome, and a 
Spaniard, or an Italian ; these are other guess Subjects for 
your thanks, than the Situation of your Vortex, or the 
Temperature of your Countrey. Pray Sir, says she, let me 
give thanks for all things, to the very Vortex in which I am 
planted : Our proportion of Happiness is so very small, 
that we should lose none, but improve continually what 
we have, and be grateful for every thing, tho' never so 
common or inconsiderable. If nothing but exquisite pleas- 
ure will serve us, we must wait a long time, and be sure 
to pay too dear for it at last. B . DE FONTENELLE 

A Plurality of Worlds (1686). Trans. John Glanvill (1688) 



When I contemplate the common lot of mortality, I must 
acknowledge that I have drawn a high prize in the lottery 
of life. The far greater part of the globe is over-spread with 
barbarism or slavery ; in the civilised world the most num- 
erous class is condemned to ignorance and poverty, and 
the double fortune of my birth in a free and enlightened 
country, in an honourable and wealthy family, is the lucky 
chance of an unit against millions. The general probability 
is about three to one that a new-born infant will not 
live to compleat his fiftieth year. I have now passed that 
age. . . . 

I. The first indispensable requisite of happiness is a 
clear conscience, unsullied by the reproach or remem- 
brance of an unworthy action. 

Hie murus aheneus esto 
Nil conscire sibi, nulla palescere culpa. 

I am endowed with a cheerful temper, a moderate sen- 
sibility, and a natural disposition to repose rather than to 
action : some mischievous appetites and habits have per- 
haps been corrected by philosophy or time. The love of 
study, a passion which derives fresh vigour from enjoy- 
ment, supplies each day, each hour, with a perpetual 
source of independent and rational pleasure, and I am not 
sensible of any decay of the mental faculties. The original 
soil has been highly improved by labour and manure ; but 
it may be questioned whether some flowers of fancy, some 
grateful errors, have not been eradicated with the weeds 
of prejudice. 

2. Since I have escaped from the long perils of my 
childhood, the serious advice of a physician has seldom 


been requisite. " The madness of superfluous health " 
I have never known ; but my tender constitution has been 
fortified by time. . . . 

3. ... The oeconomy of my house is settled without 
avarice or profusion ; at stated periods all my bills are 
regularly paid, and in the course of my life I have never 
been reduced to appear, either as plaintiff or defendant, 
in a court of Justice. 

Should I add that, since the failure of my first wishes, I 
have never entertained any serious thoughts of a matri- 
monial connection ? 

EDWARD GIBBON, Autobiography (1789) 


It is not possible for anything on earth to be more agree- 
able to my taste than my present manner of living. I am 
so much at my ease ; have a great many hours at my own 
disposal : read my own books, and see my own friends ; 
and, whenever I please, may join the most polished and 
delightful society in the world ! Our breakfasts are little 
literary societies. 

HANNAH MORE, Letter to her sister (1776) 


O the sweet evenings and mornings, and all the day 

besides which are yours ! 

.... while Cowley's made 
The happy tenant of the shade ! 

And the sun in his garden gives him all he desires, and all 
that he would enjoy ; the purity of visible objects and of 
true Nature, before she was vitiated by imposture or 
luxury ! 

Books, wise discourse, gardens and fields, 
And all the joys that umnixt Nature yields. 

You gather the first roses of the spring, and apples of 
autumn ; and as the philosopher in Seneca desir'd only 
bread and herbs to dispute felicity with Jupiter, you vie 
happiness in a thousand easy and sweet diversions ; not 
forgetting the innocent toils which you cultivate, the 
leisure and the liberty, the books, the meditations, and 
above all, the learned and choice friendships that you 
enjoy. Who would not, like you, cacher sa vie ? . . . I 
assure you, Sir, it is what in the world I most inwardly 
breathe after and pursue, not to say that I envy your 
felicity, deliver'd from the gilded impertinences of life, to 
enjoy the moments of a solid and pure contentment ; 
since those who know how usefully you employ this 
glorious recess, must needs be forced either to imitate, or, 
as I do, to celebrate your example. 


Kalendarium H or tense : Dedication to A. Cowley 

(1664. Edition 1776) 

I know no body that possesses more private happines 
than you do in your Garden, and yet no man who makes 
his happines more publique by a free communication 
of the art and knowledg of it to others. 


The Garden : Dedication (1666) 


Thus, then, I live ; something read or written every day ; 
after that, not to be lacking in courtesy to my friends, I 
feast with them. 

Letter to Paetus (46 B.C.) 


No life, my honest Scholer, no life so happie and so pleas- 
ant, as the life of a well-governed Angler ; for when the 
Lawyer is swallowed up with businesse, and the States- 
man is preventing or contriving plots, we sit on Cowslip 
banks, hear the Birds sing, and possesse our selves in as 
much quietnesse as these silver streames, which we now 
see glide by us. 

The Compleat Angler (1653) 


" Life," said a gaunt widow, with a reputation for being 
clever, " life is a perpetual toothache." 

In this vein the conversation went on : the familiar 
topics were discussed of labour troubles, epidemics, 
cancer, tuberculosis, and taxation. 

Next me there sat a little old lady who was placidly 
drinking her tea, and taking no part in the melancholy 


chorus. " Well, I must say/' she remarked, turning to me 
and speaking in an undertone, " I must say I enjoy life." 

" So do I," I whispered. 

" When I enjoy things," she went on, " I know it. 
Eating, for instance, the sunshine, my hot-water bottle at 
night. Other people are always thinking of unpleasant 
things. It makes a difference," she added, as she got up to 
go with the others. 

" All the difference in the world," I answered. 


More Trivia (1922) 



Often times his servants got him agaunst his will to the 
bathes, to washe and annoynt him : and yet being there he 
would ever be drawing out of the Geometricall figures, 
even in the very imbers of the chimney. And while they 
were annointing of him with oyles and swete savors, with 
his fingers he did draw lines upon his naked body : so 
farre was he taken from himself, and brought into an 
extasy or trauns, with the delite he had in the study of 
Geometry, and truely ravished with the love of the Muses. 

PLUTARCH, Lives (c. 100) 

Trans. Sir Thos. North (1579) 



Both our hosts had baths in their houses, but in neither 
did they happen to be available ; so I set my own servants 
to work. ... I made them dig a pit ... either near a spring 
or by the river ; into this a heap of red-hot stones was 
thrown, and the glowing cavity then covered over with an 
arched roof of wattled hazel. . . . Water was thrown on the 
hot stones ... In these vapour baths we passed whole 
hours, with lively talk and repartee, all the time the cloud 
of hissing steam enveloping us induced the healthiest 
perspiration. When we had perspired enough, we bathed 
in hot water ; the treatment removed the feeling of 
repletion, but left us languid ; we therefore finished off 
with a bracing douche from the fountain, well, or river. 


Letter to Donidius (461-7). Trans. T. Hodgkin (1892) 


Christ. JErerus, in a consultation of his, hold once or twice a 
week sufficient to bathe, the water to be warme, not hot, 
for feare of sweating. Felix Plater ... for a Melancholy 
Lawyer, will have lotions of the head still joyned to these 
bathes, with a lee wherein capitall herbs have been 
boyled. Laurentius speaks of bathes of milke, which I 
find approved by many others. And still, after bath, the 
body to be annointed with oyle of bitter Almonds, of 
violets, new or fresh butter, Capons grease, especially 
the backe bone. . . . The Romans had their publike Bathes, 
very sumptuous and stupend, as those of Antoninus and 

Dioclesian. . . . Some bathed seven times a day, as Corn- 
modus the Emperor is reported to have done, usually 
twice a-day, and they were after annoynted with most 
costly oyntments : rich women bathed themselves in 
milke, some in the milke of 500 she-asses at once. . . . 

Of cold Bathes I finde little or no mention in any 

Physitian ; some speake against them. ROBERT BURTON 

Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 


At eight in the morning, we go in dishabille to the Pump- 
room, which is crowded like a Welsh fair; and there you see 
the highest quality and the lowest trade folks, jostling each 
other, without ceremony, hail-fellow well met. The noise 
of the music playing in the gallery, the heat and flavour of 
such a crowd, and the hum and buz of their conversation, 
gave me the head-ach and vertigo the first day ; but, after- 
wards, all these things became familiar, and even agreeable. 
Right under the Pump-room windows is the King's Bath ; 
a huge cistern, where you see the patients up to their necks 
in hot water. The ladies wear jackets and petticoats of 
brown linen, with chip hats, in which they fix their hand- 
kerchiefs to wipe the sweat from their faces ; but truly, 
Whether it is owing to the steam that surrounds them, or 
the heat of the water, or the nature of the dress, or to all 
these causes together, they look so flushed and so frightful, 
that I always turn my eyes another way. My aunt, who says 
every person of fashion should make her appearance in the 
bath, as well as in the abbey church, contrived 3 cap with 
cherry-coloured ribbons to suit her complexion, and 


obliged Win to attend her yesterday morning in the water. 
But really, her eyes were so red, that they made mine 
water as I viewed her from the Pump-room ; and as for 
poor Win, who wore a hat trimmed with blue, what betwixt 
her wan complexion and her fear, she looked like the ghost 
of some pale maiden, who had drowned herself for love. 
When she came out of the bath, she took assafoetida drops, 
and was fluttered all day; so that we could hardly keep her 
from going into hysterics : but her mistress says it will do 
her good ; and poor Win curtsies, with the tears in her eyes. 


Humphrey Clinker (1771) 



Why, you should not come into anie mannes house of 
account, but hee hadde fish-pondes and little orchardes on 
the toppe of his leads. If by raine or any other meanes 
those ponds were so full that they need to be slust or let 
out, even of their superfluities they made melodious use, 
for they had greate winde instruments in stead of leaden 
spoutes, that went duly on consort, onely with this waters 
rumbling discent. I sawe a summer banketting house be- 
longing to a merchaunt, that was the mervaile of the 
world, and could not be macht except God should make 

another paradise. It was builte round of greene marble, 
like a Theater with-out ; within there was a heaven and 
earth comprehended both under one roofe, the heaven 
was a cleere overhanging vault of christall, wherein the 
Sunne and Moone, and each visible Starre had his true 
similitude, shine, scituation, and motion, and by what 
enwrapped arte I cannot conceive, these spheares in their 
proper orbes observed their circular wheelinges and turn- 
ings, making a certaine kinde of soft angelical murmering 
musicke in their often windings and going about, which 
musick the philosophers say in the true heaven by reason 
of the grosenes of our senses we are not capable of. For the 
earth, it was counterfeited in that liknes that Adam lorded 
it out before his fall. . . . The flore was painted with the 
beautifullest flouers that ever mans eie admired which so 
linealy were delineated, that he that viewd them a farre 
off and had not directly stood pouringly over them, would 
have sworne they had lived in deede. The wals round 
about were hedgde with Olives and palme trees, and all 
other odoriferous fruit-bearing plants, which at anie solemn 
entertainment dropt mirrhe and frankensence. Other 
trees that bare no fruit were set in just order one against 
another, and divided the roome into a number of shadie 
lanes, leaving but one over-spreading pine tree arbor, 
where wee sate and banketted. On the wel clothed boughs 
of this conspiracie of pine trees against the resembled Sun 
beames, were pearcht as many sortes of shrill breasted 
birdes as the Summer hath allowed for singing men in her 
silvane chappels. Who though there were bodies without 
soules, and sweete resembled substances without sense, 
yet by the mathemeticall experimentes of long silver pipes 
secretlye inrinded in the intrailes of the boughs wheron 
they sate, and undiscerneablie convaid under their bellies 


into their small throats sloaping, they whistled and freely 
carold theyr naturall field note. Neyther went those silver 
pipes straight, but by many edged unsundred writhings, 
and crankled wanderinges aside, strayed from bough to 
bough into an hundred throats. . . . But so closely were 
all those organizing implements obscured in the corpulent 
trunks of the trees, that everie man there present renounst 
conjectures of art, and sayd it was done by inchantment. 
One tree for his fruit bare nothing but inchained chirp- 
ing birdes, whose throates beeing conduit pipt . . . and 
charged siring-wise with searching sweet water, . . . made 
a spirting sound, such as chirping is, in bubling upwards 
through the rough crannies of their closed bills. Under 
tuition of the shade of everie tree that I have signified to 
be in this round hedge, on delightful levie cloisters lay 
a wylde tyranous beast asleepe all prostrate : under some, 
two together, as the Dogge nusling his nose under the 
necke of the Deare, the Wolfe glad to let the Lambe lye 
upon hym to keepe him warme, the Lyon suffering the 
Asse to cast hys legge over him. . . . No poysonous beast 
there reposed (poyson was not before our parent Adam 
transgressed). There were no sweete-breathing Panthers, 
that would hyde their terrifying heads to betray : no men 
imitating Hyoenaes, that chaunged their sexe to seeke after 
bloud. Wolves as now when they are hungrie eate earth, 
so then did they feed on earth only, and abstained from 
innocent flesh. The Unicorne did not put his home into 
the streame to chase awaye venome before hee dronke, 
for then there was no suche thing extant in the water or 
on the earth. Serpents were as harmlesse to mankinde, 
as they are still one to another : the rose had no cankers, 
the leves no caterpillers, the sea no Syrens, the earth no 
usurers. Goats then bare wooll, as it is recorded in Sicily 


they doo yet. The torride Zone was habitable : only Jayes 
loved to steale gold and silver to build their nests withall, 
and none cared for covetous clientrie, or runing to the 
Indies. As the Elephant understands his countrey speach, 
so everie beast understood what man spoke. The ant did 
not hoord up against winter, for there was no winter but 
a perpetuall spring, as Ovid saith. No frosts to make the 
greene almound tree counted rash and improvident, in 
budding soonest of all other : or the mulberie tree a strange 
polititian, in blooming late and ripening early. . . . Young 
plants for their sap had balme, for their yellow gumme 
glistering amber. The evening dewed not water on flowers, 
but honnie. Such a golden age, such a good age, such an 
honest age was set forth in this banketting house. O Rome,, 
if thou hast in thee such soul exalting objects, what a thing 
is heaven in comparison of thee ? THOMAS NASHE 

The Unfortunate Traveller (1594) 


Like heavens two maine lights, 
The roomes illustrated, both daies and nights. 
On every side stood firme a wall of brasse, 
Even from the threshold to the inmost passe ; 
Which bore a roofe up that all Saphire was ; 
The brazen thresholds both sides, did enfold 
Silver Pilasters, hung with gates of gold ; 
Whose Portall was of silver ; over which 
A golden Cornish did the front enrich. 
On each side, Dogs, of gold and silver fram'd, 
The houses Guard stood ; which the Deitie (lam'd) vuican. 

With knowing inwards had inspir'd ; and made. 
That Death nor Age> should their estates invade. 

Along the wall, stood every way a throne ; 
From th'entry to the Lobbie : every one. 
Cast over with a rich-wrought cloth of state. 
Beneath which, the Phceacian Princes sate 
At wine and food ; and feasted all the yeare. 
Youths forg'd of gold, at every table there, 
Stood holding flaming torches ; that, in night 
Gave through the house, each honourd Guest, his 


Odyssey. Book VII 
Trans. George Chapman (1614) 


A goodly hall 

Of jaspar stones, it was wonderflye wrought 
The windowes cleare, depured all of christal 
And in the roufe, on hye over all 
Of golde was made, a right crafty vyne, 
In stede of grapes, the Rubies there did shyne. 
The flore was paved with berall clarified 
With pillars made of stones precious 
Like a place of pleasure, so gayely glorified 
It might be called, a palaice glorious 
So muche delectable, and solacious. 
The hall was hanged, bye and circuler 
With clothe of arras, in the richest maner. 


The Passe ty me of Pleasure (1509) 


I have nothing more to send you but a new ballad, which 
my Lord Bath has made on this place ; you remember the 
old burden of it, and the last lines allude to Billy Bristow's 
having fallen in love with it. 

Some talk of Gunnersbury, 

For Sion some declare ; 
And some say that with Chiswick House 

No villa can compare ; 
But all the beaux of Middlesex, 

Who know that country well, 
Say that Strawberry Hill, that Strawberry 

Doth bear away the bell. 

Though Surrey boasts its Oatlands, 

And Claremont kept so gim ; 
And though they talk of Southcote's, 

It's but a dainty whim ; 
For ask the gallant Bristow, 

Who does in taste excel, 
If Strawberry Hill, if Strawberry 

Don't bear away the bell. 

I am a little pleased to send you this, to show you that 
in summer we are a little pretty. HORACE WALPOLE 

Letter to George Montagu (1755) 
LP 321 



When the great fenn, or Moore, which watereth the walles 
of the title on the North side, is frozen, many young men 
play upon the ice ; some stryding as wide as they may, 
doe slide swiftly ; others make themselves seates of ice, 
as great as milstones ; one sits downe, many hand in hand 
do drawe him, and one slipping down on a sudden, all fall 
together ; some tye bones to their feete and under their 
heeles ; and shoving themselves by a little picked staffe, 
do slide as swiftly as a bird flyeth in the aire, ar an arrow 
out of a crossebow. Sometime two runn together with 
poles, and hitting one the other, either one or both doe fall, 
not without hurt ; some break their armes, some their legs, 
but youth desirous of glorie, in this sort exerciseth it selfe 
against the time of warre. WILLIAM FITZSTEPHEN 

Vita Sancti Thomae (c. 1180). Trans. John Stow (1598) 


Having scene the strange and wonderful dexterity of the 
sliders on the new canal in St James's Park, perform'd be- 
fore their Ma tic8 by divers gentlemen and others with 


scheets, after the manner of the Hollanders, with what 
swiftness they passe, how suddainely they stop in full 
carriere upon the ice, I went home by water, but not 
without exceeding difficultie the Thames being frozen, 
greate flakes of ice encompassing our boate. 

JOHN EVELYN, Diary (Dec. i, 1662) 


The Hautboys who playd to us last night had their breath 

froze in their instruments till it dropt of the ends of 'em 

in icicles by god this is true. WILLIAM CONGREVE 

Letter to Edward Porter (Jan. ist, 1700 ?) 


London enjoyed a carnival of the utmost brilliancy. . . . 
Frozen roses fell in showers when the Queen and her ladies 
walked abroad. Coloured balloons hovered motionless in 
the air. Here and there burnt vast bonfires of cedar and 
oak wood, lavishly salted, so that the flames were of green, 
orange, and purple fire. But however fiercely they burnt, 
the heat was not enough to melt the ice which, though of 
singular transparency, was yet of the hardness of steel. 
So clear indeed was it that there could be seen, congealed 
at a depth of several feet, here a porpoise, there a flounder. 
Shoals of eels lay motionless in a trance, but whether their 
state was one of death or merely of suspended animation 
which the warmth would revive puzzled the philosophers. 
Near London Bridge, where the river had frozen to a 


depth of some twenty fathoms, a wrecked wherry boat was 
plainly visible, lying on the bed of the river where it had 
sunk last autumn, overladen with apples. The old bum- 
boat woman, who was carrying her fruit to market on the 
Surrey side, sat there in her plaids and farthinghales with 
her lap full, of apples, for all the world as if she were about 
to serve a customer, though a certain blueness about the 
lips hinted the truth. 'Twas a sight King James specially 
liked to look upon, and he would bring a troupe of cour- 
tiers to gaze with him. In short nothing could exceed the 
brilliancy and gaiety of the scene by day. But it was at night 
that the carnival was at its merriest. For the frost con- 
tinued unbroken ; the nights were of perfect stillness ; the 
moon and stars blazed with the hard fixity of diamonds, and 
to the fine music of flute and trumpet the courtiers danced. 
VIRGINIA WOOLF, Orlando (1928) 



A learned and a happy Ignorance 

Divided me 
From all the Vanity, 
From all the Sloth, Care, Sorrow, that advance 

The Madness and the Misery 
Of Men. No Error, no Distraction, I 
Saw cloud the Earth, or over-cast the Sky. 

I knew not that there was a Serpent's Sting, 

Whose Poyson shed 
On Alen, did overspread 
The World : Nor did I dream of such a thing 
As Sin, in which Mankind lay dead. 
They all were brisk and living Things to me. 
Yea, pure and full of immortality. 

Unwelcom Penitence I then thought not on ; 

Vain costly Toys, 
Swearing and roaring -boys, 
Shops, Markets, Taverns, Coaches, were unknown, 

So all things were that drown my Joys : 
No thorns choakt-up my Path, nor hid the face 
Of Bliss and Glory, nor eclypt my place. 

Only what Adam in his first Estate 

Did I behold ; 
Hard silver and dry Gold 
As yet lay underground : My happy Fate 

Was more acquainted with the old 
And innocent Delights which he did see 

In his Original Simplicity. 


Eden : Poems of Felicity (? 1656-66) 


The Ancients were pleasant Gentlemen, to imagine that 
the celestial Bodies were in their own nature unchange- 
able, because they observed no change in them. 


A Plurality of Worlds (1686). Trans. John Glanvill (1688) 



. . As Knowledge cast Adam out of Paradise, so it do's all 
those who apply themselves to it, for the more they 
understand, they do but more plainly perceive, their own 
wants and Nakedness, as he did, which before in the State 
of Ignorance were hidden from him, untill the eies of his 
understanding were opened, only to let him see his losses, 
and the Miseries which he had betrayed himself unto. For 
the world appeares a much finer thing to those that under- 
stand it not then to those who do, and Fooles injoy their 
Pleasures with greater Appetite and Gust then those who 
are more sensible of their vanity and unwholesomnes. 


Miscellaneous Observations (c. 1660-70) 


I have been thinking over our late correspondence, and 
wish to propose to you the following articles for our 
future : 

. . . 4thly, That you send me no periodical works what- 
soever no Edinburgh., Quarterly, Monthly, nor any 
Review, Magazine, Newspaper, English or foreign, of any 
description. 5thly, That you send me no opinions what- 
soever, either good, bad, or indifferent, of yourself, or your 
friends, or others, concerning my work, or works of mine 
past, present, or to come. . . . Reviews and Magazines are 
at the best but ephemeral and superficial reading : who 
thinks of the grand article of last year, in any given review ? 
in the next place, if they regard myself, they tend to 


increase Egotism ; if favourable, I do not deny that the 
praise elates, and if unfavourable, that the abuse irritates 
the latter may conduct me to inflict a species of Satire, 
which would neither do good to you nor to your friends : 
they may smile now, and so may you, but if I took you all in 
hand, it would not be difficult to cut you up like gourds . . . 
Therefore let me hear none of your provocations. If any 
thing occurs so very gross as to require my notice, I shall 
hear of it from my personal friends. For the rest, I merely 
request to be left in ignorance. The same applies to 
opinions, good, bad, or indifferent, of persons in conversa- 
tion or correspondence : . . . they soil the current of my 
Mind. I am sensitive enough, but not till I am touched', and 
here I am beyond the touch of the short arms of literary 
England. ... All these precautions in England would be 
useless : the libeller or the flatterer would there reach me 
in spite of all ; but in Italy we know little of literary 
England and think less, except what reaches us through 
some garbled and brief extract in some miserable Gazette. 

Letter to John Murray (1821) 


Yon cottager, who weaves at her own door, 
Pillow and bobbins all her little store, 
Content, though mean ; and cheerful, if not gay ; 
Shuffling her threads about the live-long day, 
Just earns a scanty pittance ', and at night 
Lies down secure, her heart and pocket light : 
She, for her humble sphere by nature fit, 
Has little understanding, and no wit, 


Recieves no praise ; but, though her lot be such, 
(Toilsome and indigent) she renders much ; 
Just knows, and knows no more, her Bible true 
A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew ; 
And in that charter reads, with sparkling eyes, 
Her title to a treasure in the skies. 

O happy peasant ! Oh, unhappy bard ! 
His the mere tinsel, hers the rich reward ; 
He prais'd, perhaps, for ages yet to come ; 
She never heard of half a mile from home : 
He, lost in errors, his vain heart prefers ; 
She, safe in the simplicity of hers. 

Not many wise, rich, noble, or profound 
In science, win one inch of heav'nly ground. 
And is it not a mortifying thought 
The poor should gain it, and the rich should not ? 


Truth (1782) 


Another sort there be who when they hear that all things 
shall be order'd, all things regulated and setPd ; nothing 
writt'n but what passes through the custom-house of 
certain Publicans that have the tunaging and poundaging 
of all free spok'n truth, will strait give themselvs up into 
your hands, mak'em and cut'em out what religion ye 
please ; there be delights, there be recreations and jolly 
pastimes that will fetch the day about from sun to sun, and 
rock the tedious year as in a delightfull dream. What need 
they torture their heads with that which others have tak'n 


so strictly, and so unalterably into their own pourveying. 
These are the fruits which a dull ease and cessation of 
our knowledge will bring forth among the people. How 
goodly, and how to be wisht were such an obedient unani- 
mity as this, what a fine conformity would it starch us all 


Areopagitica (1643) 



At night, when he was abed, and the dores made fast, and 
was sure nobody heard him, he sang aloud (not that he 
had a very good voice) but for his health's sake : he did 
beleeve it did his lunges gcod, and conduced much to 
prolong his life. JOHN AUBREY 

Brief Lives : Thomas Hobbes (c. 1680) 


I have heard Mr Hobbes say that he was wont to draw 
lines on his thigh and on the sheetes, abed, and also 
multiply and divide. 



Let sleep creep over you while you hold a book, and let 
the ... page support your falling face. 

sx JEROME, Letter to Eustochium (384) 


Rode easily to Welling, where we supped well, and had 
two beds in the room and so lay single, and still remember 
it that of all the nights that ever I slept in my life I never 
did pass a night with more epicurism of sleep ; there 
being now and then a noise of people stirring that waked 
me, and then it was a very rainy night, and then I was a 
little weary, that what between waking and then sleeping 
again, one after another, I never had so much content in 
all my life, and so my wife says it was with her. 

SAMUEL PEPYS, Diary (Sept. 23, 1660) 


Dr Swift lies a-bed till eleven o'clock, and thinks of wit 
for the day. JOSEPH SPENCE, Anecdotes (c. 1734) 


And to your more bewitching, see, the proud 
Plumpe Bed beare up, and swelling like a cloud, 

Tempting the two too modest ; can 

Yee see it brusle like a Swan, 

And you be cold 
Too meet it, when it woo's and seemes to fold 

The Armes to hugge it ? throw, throw 
Your selves into the mighty over-flow 

Of that white Pride, and Drowne 
The night, with you, in floods of Downe. 


A Nuptiall Song, or Epithalamie, on Sir Clipseby Crew 
and his Lady. Hesperides (1648) 


My Bed was such, as Down nor Feather can 
Make one more soft, though Jove againe turn swan ; 
No fear-distracted thoughts my slumbers broke, 
I heard no screech owl shreek, nor Raven croak ; 
Sleep's foe, the Flea, that proud insulting Elfe, 
Is now at truce, and is asleep it selfe. 


The Nightinghale 
Musarum Deliciae (1655) 


He played at cards rarely well, and did use to practise by 
himselfe a bed, and there studyed how the best way of 
managing the cards could be. 

Brief Lives : Sir John Suckling (c. 1680) 



Another time, as he [Thomas Traherne] was in bed, 
he saw a basket come sailing in the air, along by the 
valence of his bed ; I think he said there was fruit in the 
basket : it was a Phantom. JOHN AUBREY 

Apparitions (Miscellanies) (1696) 


O Thou that sleep'st like Pigg in Straw, 

Thou Lady dear, arise ; 

Open (to keep the Sun in awe) 

Thy pretty pinking eyes : 

And, having stretcht each Leg and Arme, 

Put on your cleane white Smock, 

And then I pray, to keep you warme, 

A Petticote on Dock. 

Arise, arise ! Why should you sleep, 

When you have slept enough ? 

Long since, French Boyes cry'd Chimney-sweep, 

And Damsels Kitching-stuffe. 

The Shops were open'd long before, 

And youngest Prentice goes 

To lay at's Mrs. Chamber-doore. 

His Masters shining Shooes. 

Arise, arise ; your Breakfast stayes, 
Good Water-grewell warme, 
Or Sugar-sops, which Galen sayes 
With Mace, will doe no harme. 


Arise, arise ; when you are up, 

You'l find more to your cost, 

For Mornings-draught with Caudle-cup, 

Good Nutbrown-Ale, and Tost. 


News from Plimouth (1635) 


'Tis the voice of the Sluggard ; I hear him complain, 
" You have wak'd me too soon, I must slumber again." 
As the Door on its Hinges, so he on his Bed, 
Turns his Sides, and his Shoulders, and his heavy Head. 

" A little more Sleep and a little more Slumber " ; 
Thus he wastes half his Days and his Hours without 

number ; 

And when he gets up, he sits folding his Hands, 
Or walks about sauntering, or trifling he stands. 


The Sluggard. Moral Songs (pub. 1743) 

JOHNSON : " I have, all my life long, been lying till noon ; 
yet I tell all young men, and tell them with great sincerity, 
that nobody who does not rise early will ever do any 


Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson (1785) 

I purpose to rise at eight, because, though I shall not yet 
rise early, it will be much earlier than I now rise, for I 
often lie till two. SAMUEL JOHNSON 

Prayers and Meditations (1765) 



Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd 
On to thir blissful Bower ; it was a place 
Chos'n by the sovran Planter, when he fram'd 
All things to mans delightful use ; the roofe 
Of thickest covert was inwoven shade 
Laurel and Mirtle, and what higher grew 
Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side 
Acanthus, and each odorous bushie shrub 
Fenc'd up the verdant wall ; each beauteous flour, 
Iris all hues, Roses, and Gessamin 
Rear'd high thir flourisht heads between, and 


Mosaic ; underfoot the Violet, 
Crocus, and Hyacinth with rich inlay 
Broiderd the ground, more colour'd then with 


Of costliest Emblem : other Creature here 
Beast, Bird, Insect, or Worm durst enter none ; 
Such was thir awe of man. In shadier Bower 
More sacred and sequesterd though but feignd, 
Pan and Silvanus never slept, nor Nymph, 
Nor Faunus haunted. Here in close recess 
With Flowers, Garlands, and sweet-smelling Herbs 
Espoused Eve deckt first her Nuptial Bed, 
And heav'nly Quires the Hymenaean sung. . . . 
These lulld by Nightinghales imbraceing slept, 
And on thir naked limbs the flourie roof 
Showrd Roses, which the Morn repair'd. Sleep on, 
Blest Pair. J OHN MILTON 

Paradise Lost, Book IV (1667) 

Theis are the spels which to kind sleep invite, . . . 

Who would not choos to bee awake, 
While hee's encompasst round with such delight, 
To th'ear, the nose, the touch, the tast, and sight ? 
When Venus would her dear Ascanius keep 
A pris'ner in the downy bands of sleep, 
She odorous herbs and flowers about him spred, 

As the most soft and sweetest bed ; 
Not her own lap would more have charm'd his head. 

Who that has Reason, and his smel, 
Would not amoungst roses and jasmin dwell. 

Rather then all his spirits choak 
With exhalations of dirt and smoak ? 

The Garden (1666) 


Happy are they that go to bed with grave musick like 
Pythagoras, or have wayes to compose the phantasticall 
spirit, whose unrulie wandrings takes of inward sleepe, 
filling our heads with St. Anthonies visions, and the 
dreames of Lipara in the sober chambers of rest. 

Virtuous thoughts of the day laye up good treasors for 
the night . . . hereby Solomons sleepe was happy. 

On Dreams (?) 



Busie old foole, unruly Sunne, 
Why dost thou thus, 

Through windowes, and through curtaines call on us ? 
Must to thy motions lovers seasons run ? 
Sawcy pendantique wretch, goe chide 
Late schoole boyes, and sowre prentices, 
Goe tell Court-huntsmen, that the King will ride, 
Call countrey ants to harvest offices ; 
Love, all alike, no season knowes, nor clyme, 
Nor houres, dayes, moneths, which are the rags of 
time. . . , 

If her eyes have not blinded thine, 
Looke, and to morrow late, tell mee, 
Whether both the India's of spice and Myne 
Be where thou leftst them, or lie here with mee. 
Aske for those Kings whom thou saw'st yesterday, 
And thou shalt heare, All here in one bed lay. 

She is all States, and all Princes, I, 
Nothing else is. 

Princes doe but play us ; compared to this, 
All honor's mimique ; All wealth alchemic. 

Thou sunne art halfe as happy as wee, 

In that the world's contracted thus ; 
Thine age askes ease, and since they duties bee 
To warme the world, that's done in warming us. 
Shine here to us, and thou art every where ; 
This bed thy center is, these walls, thy spheare. 


The Sunne rising (Songs and Sonnets 1590-1601) 


From noise of Scare-fires rest ye free. 
From Murders Benedicitie. 
From all mischances, they may fright 
Your pleasing slumbers in the night : 
Mercie secure ye all, and keep 
The Goblin from ye, while ye sleep. 
Past one aclock, and almost two, 
My Masters all, Good day to you. 

The Bell-man. Hesperides (1648) 


Come sleepe, o sleepe, the certaine knot of peace, 
The baiting place of wit, the balme of woe, 
The poore mans wealth, the prisoners release, 
Th' indifferent Judge betweene the high and low ; 

With shield of proofe shield me from out the prease 
Of those fierce darts, dispaire at me doth throw : 

make in me those civill warres to cease ; 

1 will good tribute pay if thou wilt do so. 

Take thou of me smooth pillowes, sweetest bed, 
A chamber deafe to noise, and blind to light : 
A rosie garland, and a wearie hed : 

And if these things, as being thine in right, 
Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me, 
Livelier than else-where Stellas image see. 


Astrophel and Stella (1591) 


But the phantasmes of sleepe do commonly walk in the 
great roade of naturall and animal dreames ; wherein the 
thoughts or actions of the day are acted over and echoed in 
the night. Who can therefore wonder that Chrysostome 
should dreame of St Paul who dayly read his Epistles ; 
or that Cardan whose head was so taken up about the 
starres should dreame that his soule was in the moone ! 
Pious persons whose thoughts are dayly buisied about 
heaven and the blessed state thereof, can hardly escape 
the nightly phantasmes of it ... 

Physitians will tell us that some food makes turbulent, 
some gives quiet dreames. Cato who doated upon cabbadge 
might find the crude effects thereof in his sleepe ; wherin 
the ^Egyptians might find some advantage by their super- 
stitious abstinence from onyons. Pythagoras might have 
more calmer sleepes if hee totally abstained from 
beanes. . . . 

To adde unto the delusion of dreames, the phantasticall 
objects seeme greater then they are ... whereby it may 
prove more easie to dreame of Gyants then pygmies. 
Democritus might seldome dreame of Atomes, who so 
often thought of them 

That some have never dreamed is as improbable as 
that some have never laughed. That children dreame 
not the first half yeare, that men dreame not ins some 
countries, with many more, are unto mee sick mens 
dreames, dreames out of the Ivorie gate, and visions 
before midnight. 


On Dreams (undated) 


Thou only canst each absent Blessing grant, 
Which, but asleep, we languish for and want. 
Thou'rt the chast Comfort of the Widow's Bed, 
That kindly do'st restore the Husband dead ; 
And O, thou full Refreshment to the Maid, 
Who do'st, in Dreams, her feav'rish Passion aid ... 
No man's undone, who seems apprest by Thee ; 
Debtors are under thy Arrest made free ; 
Thou cansy poor Slaves from Chains awhile release, 
In Durance give them Freedom, Health, and Ease. 
By Thee, our Cares in difF'rent Lights are rang'd, 
And black Despair for Cheerful Hopes exchang'd. 
Distance and Time thou canst at Will oe'rleap, 
And compremise whole Years in one short Sleep. 
By Thee divided Freinds embrace in Thought, 
And absent Lovers are together brought. 


Sleep and Death (? 1729) 

Awake, awake, my little boy ! 
Thou wast thy mother's only joy ; 
Why dost thou weep in thy gentle sleep ? 
Awake ! thy father does thee keep. 

" O, what land is the Land of Dreams ? 

What are its mountains, and what are its streams ? 

father ! I saw my mother there, 
Among the lilies by waters fair. 

Among the lambs, clothed in white, 

She walk'd with her Thomas in sweet delight. 

1 wept for joy, like a dove I mourn ; 
O ! when shall I again return ? " 


Dear child, I also by pleasant streams 

Have wander'd all night in the Land of Dreams ; 

But tho' calm and warm the waters wide, 

I could not get to the other side. 

" Father, O father ! what do we here 
In this land of unbelief and fear ? 
The Land of Dreams is better far. 
Above the light of the morning Star." 


The Land of Dreams (c. 1802) 

My Lady Seymour dreamt, that shee found a nest, with 
nine finches in it. And so many children shee had by the 
Earl of Winchelsea, whose name is Finch. 

When Sir Christopher Wren was at Paris, about 1671 
... he dreamt, that he was in a place where Palm-trees 
grew (suppose Eygpt) and that a woman in a romantick 
habit, reach'd him dates. 

Dreams (Miscellanies] (1696) 

Methought I saw my late espoused Saint 
Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave, 
Whom Joves great Son to her glad Husband gave, 
Rescu'd from death by force though pale and faint. 
Mine as whom washt from spot of child-bed taint, 
Purification in the old Law did save, 
And such, as yet once more I trust to have 
Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint, 

Came vested all in white, pure as her mind : 

Her face was vail'd, yet to my fancied sight, 

Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd 

So clear, as in no face with more delight. 

But O as to embrace me she enclin'd 

I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my night. 


Sonnet XIX (c. 1657) 


When a sad and sicke patient was brought to him [Epicurus] 
to be cured, Hee laid him on a downe bed, crowned him 
with a garland of sweet-smelling flowres, in a fair e perfumed 
closet delicately set out, and, after a potion or two of good 
drink, which he administred, he brought in a beautifull young 
wench that could play upon a Lute, sing and dance, &c. . , . 
Most of our looser Physitians in some cases . . . allow of 
this, and all of them will have a melancholy, sad, and 
discontented Person, make frequent use of honest sportes, 
companies, and recreations. 


The Anatomy of Melancholy 
(1621. Edition 1632) 




Before I was sixteen, I had exhausted all that could be 
learned in English of the Arabs and Persians, the Tartars 
and Turks ; and the same ardour urged me to guess at the 
French of d'Herbelot, and to construe the barbarous Latin 
of Pocock's Abulpharagius. . / . The maps of Cellarius 
and Wells imprinted in my mind the picture of ancient 
Geography ; from Strauchius I imbibed the elements of 
Chronology ; the tables of Helvicus and Anderson, the 
annals of Usher and Prideaux, distinguished the connection 
of events, and I engraved the multitude of names and dates 
in a clear and indelible series. But in the discussion of the 
first ages I overleaped the bounds of modesty and use. In 
my childish balance I presumed to weight the systems of 
Scaliger and Petavius, of Marsham and Newton which I 
could seldom study in the originals ; the Dynasties of 
Assyria and Egypt were my top and cricket-ball ; and my 
sleep has been disturbed by the difficulty of reconciling 
the Septuagint with the Hebrew commutation. . . . 

At the conclusion of this first period of my life, I am 
tempted to utter a protest against the trite and lavish praise 
of the happiness of our boyish years, which is echoed with 


so much affectation in the World. That happiness I have 
never known, that time I have never regretted ; and were 
my poor aunt still alive., she would bear testimony to the 
early and constant uniformity of my sentiments. . . . My 
name, it is most true, could never be enrolled among the 
sprightly race, the idle progeny of Eton or Westminster, 
who delight to cleave the water with pliant arm, to urge 
the flying ball, and to chace the speed of the rolling circle. 
... A state of happiness arising only from the want of 
foresight and reflection shall never provoke my envy ; such 
degenerate taste would tend to sink us in the scale of 
beings from a man to a child, a dog, and an oyster, till we 
had reached the confines of brute matter, which cannot 
suffer because it cannot feel. 

Autobiography (1792) 


This man whom about mid-night, when others take their 
rest, thou seeest come out of his study meagre-looking, 
with eyes-trilling, flegmatique, squalide, and spauling, 
doest thou thinke, that plodding on his books he doth 
seek how he shall become an honester man; or more 
wise, or more content ? There is no such matter. He will 
either die in his pursuit, or teach posteritie the measure 
of Plautus verse, and the true orthography of a Latine 


Essays : Of Solitarinesse (1580) 

Trans. John Florio (1603) 



A person of great temperance, and deepe thought, and a 
working head, never idle. From 14 he had a candle burn- 
ing by him all night, with pen, inke, and paper, to write 
downe thoughts as they came into his head ; that so he 
might not loose a thought. Was ever a great lover of 
Naturall Philosophic. His whole life has been perplext in 
lawe-suits ... in which he alwaies over-came . . . one 
lasted 1 8 yeares. JOHN AUBREY 

Brief Lives : James Bovey (c. 1680) 


Thebes being at that time inhabited by a barbarous un- 
polished People, was nothing but a confused Heap of Huts, 
scattered here and there ; and the Town, if yet it de- 
served the Name, had no Walls capable to defend it against 
any Attacks from without. Amphion, relying on the Assist- 
ance of the MuseSy proposed to render his new Conquest 
an impregnable Fort, and to give it an Air of Magnificence 
worthy of the Residence of Kings. He invokes those God- 
desses who had always made him their peculiar Care, and 
no sooner does he begin to tune his Voice and touch the 
Lyre, than the Stones, animated by his inchanting Strains, 
leap from the Rocks, and raise themselves into regular 
Buildings, as if they had been placed by the Hand of a 
skilful Architect : Walls and Towers rise round Thebes, 
and its mean Cottages are changed into lofty Palaces. 


The Temple of the Muses (1738) 
(From the French of Michel de Marolles) 



Nor was his age onely so industrious, but in his most 
unsetled youth he was (being in health) never knowne to 
be in bed after foure of the clock in the morning, nor 
usually out of his chamber till ten, and imployed that 
time constantly (if not more) in his Studie. Which, if it 
seeme strange, may gain beliefe by the visible fruits of 
his labours : some of which remaine to testifie what is 
here written : for he left the resultance of 1400 Authors, 
most of them analyzed with his owne hand ; He left also 
six score Sermons, also, all writ with his owne hand ; a 
large and laborious Treatise concerning Selfe-murther, 
called Biathanatose y wherein all the Lawes violated by that 
act, are diligently survayed, and judiciously censured ; A 
Treatise written in his youth, which alone might declare 
him then, not onely perfect in the Civil and Canon Law, 
but in many other such studies and arguments as enter 
not into the consideration of many profest Scholars, that 
labour to be thought learned Clerks, and to know all 

Nor were these onely found in his Studie, but all busi- 
nesses that past of any publique consequence in this or 
any of our neighbour Kingdoms, he abbreviated either in 
Latine, or in the Language of the Nation, and kept them 
by him for a memoriall. So he did the Copies of divers 
Letters and Cases of Conscience that had concerned his 
friends, (with his solutions) and divers other businesses of 
importance, all particularly and methodically digested by 


Life and Death of Dr. Donne (1640) 



He related to me a short dialogue that passed between 
himself and a writer of the first eminence in the world, 

when he was in Scotland ... Dr. asked me (said he) 

why I did not join in their public worship when among 
them ? for (said he) I went to your churches often when 
in England. " So (replied Johnson) I have read that the 
Siamese sent ambassadors to Louis Quatorze, but I never 
heard that the king of France thought it worth his while 
to send ambassadors from his court to that of Siam" .... 
When I one day lamented the loss of a first cousin killed 
in America " Prithee, my dear (said he) have done with 
canting : how would the world be worse for it, I may ask, 
if all your relations were at once spitted like larks and 
roasted for Presto's supper ? " Presto was the dog that 
lay under the table. . . . One day at dinner I meant to 
please Mr Johnson particularly with a dish of very young 
peas. Are not they charming ? said I to him, while he was 
eating them. " Perhaps (said he) they would be so to 


Anecdotes of Dr. Johnson (1786) 

An essay . . . maintaining the future life of brutes . . . was 
mentioned, and the doctrine insisted on by a gentleman who 
seemed fond of curious speculation. Johnson, who did not 
like to hear of any thing concerning a future state which 
was not authorised by the regular canons of orthodoxy, 
discouraged this talk ; and being offended by its continua- 
tion, he watched an opportunity to give the gentleman 
a blow of reprehension. So, when the poor speculatist, 
with a serious metaphysical face, addressed him, " But 
really, Sir, when we see a very sensible dog, we don't 
know what to think of him," Johnson, rolling with joy at 
the thought which beamed in his eye, turned quickly 
round and replied, " True, Sir : and when we see a very 
foolish fellow, we don't know what to think of him " He 
then rose up, strided to the fire, and stood for some time 
laughing and exulting. 

JAMES BOSWELL, Life of Johnson (1792) 


His very first page notoriously bewraies him an illiterat 
and arrogant presumer . . . bearing us in hand as if hee 
knew both Greek and Ebrew, and is not able to spell it ... 
I shall yet continue to think that man full of other secret 
injustice and deceitfull pride, who shall offer in public to 
assume the skill, though it bee but of a tongue which hee 
hath not . . . Nor did I finde this his want of the pretended 
Languages alone, but accompanied with such a low and 
home-spun expression of his Mother English all along, 
without joynt or frame, as made mee, ere I knew furder 
of him, often stop, and conclude, that this Author could 
for certain bee no other then some Mechanick ... a gross 


and sluggish, yet a contentious and overweening pretender 
. . . since ratifi'd to bee no other, if any can hold laughter, 
then an actual Serving-man. This creature . . . turn'd 
Sollicker ... a Servingman by nature and by practice, an 
Idiot by breeding, and a Sollicker by presumption. . . . 
Observe now the arrogance of a groom, how it will mount 
. . . jesting and frisking in the luxury of his non-sense to 
cog a laughter from us ... this odious fool, who thus ever 
when hee meets with ought above the cogitation of his 
breeding, leavs the noysom stench of his rude slot behind 
him .... the filth and venom of this gourmand . . . not a 
golden but a brazen ass. Since my fate extorts from mee 
a talent of sport, which I had thought to hide in a napkin, 
hee shall bee my Batrachomuomachia, my Bavius> my 
Calandrino, the common adagy of ignorance and over- 
weening. . . . 

Thus much to this Nuisance. JOHN MILTON 

Colas terion (1645) 



The discovery of the two actively opposite tartaric acids 
was a momentous one, effecting a revolution in the views 
of chemists regarding molecular structure ; and we can well 
understand the feeling of happiness and the nervous excite- 
ment by which Pasteur was overcome on making his dis- 
covery. Rushing from his laboratory and meeting a curator 


he embraced him, exclaiming, " I have just made a great 
discovery ! I have separated the sodium ammonium paro- 
tartrate with two salts of opposite action on the plane of 
polarisation of light. The dextro-salt is in all respects 
identical with the dextro-tartrate. I am so happy and over- 
come by such nervous excitement that I am unable to 
place my eye again to the polarisation apparatus." 


Chemistry in the Service of Man (1916) 


He was one of the Assembly of Divines in those days 
.... and was like a Thorne in their sides ; for he did baffle 
and vex them ; for he was able to runne them all downe 
with his Greeke and antiquities. JOHN AUBREY 

Brief Lives : John Selden (c. 1680) 


And the Quene of Saba hearde of the fame of Salomon 
and came to prove him with ryddelles at Jerusalem, with 
a very great companye, and with camelles that bare swete 
odoures and plentye of golde and preciouse stone. And when 
she was come to Salomon, she communed with him of 
all that was in her herte. And Salomon foyled her all her 
questions, that there was nothing hid from Salomon which 
he tolde her not. And when the quene of Saba had sene 
the wisdom of Salomon and the house that he had built, 
and the meat of hys table, and the syttinge of hys servantes, 


and the standynge of hys wayters and their apparell, and hys 
buttelars with their apparell, and his parlour out of which 
he went into the house of the Lord, she was so astonyed 
that there was no moare herte in her. And then she sayde 
to the kynge .... the one halfe of thy wysdome was not 
tolde me : thou exceedest the fame that I hearde, happye 
are thy men, and happye are these thy servauntes which 
stande before thee alJwaye and heare thy wisdome. . . 
And she gave the Kyng an hundred and twenty talentes of 
gould, and of swete odoures exceedynge great aboun- 
dance with preciouse stones, and there was no soche swete 
odoures as the quene of Saba gave kynge Salomon 

Chronicles ii 
Trans, by William Tyndale. Matthew's Bible (1537) 



I look upon Humour to be almost of English Growth ; at 
least, it does not seem to have found such encrease on any 
other Soil. And what appears to me to be the reason of it, 
is the great Freedom, Privilege and Liberty which the 
Common People of England enjoy. Any Man that has a 
Humour is under no restraint, or fear of giving it Vent ; 
They have a proverb among them, which, may be, will 
shew the Bent and Genius of the People, as well as a longer 


Discourse He that will have a May-Pole, shall have a May- 
Pole. This is a Maxim with them, and their Practice is 
agreeable to it. I believe something Considerable too may 
be ascribed to their feeding so much on Flesh, and the 
Grossness of their Diet in general. But I have done, let the 
Physicians agree that. 

WILLIAM CONGREVE, Letter to John Dennis (1695) 


It must be confess'd that the notion of Liberty is deeply 
imprinted in our hearts, there being certainly nothing 
more advantagious, nothing more beneficial, more 
pleasing, and more agreeable to human Reason. 'Tis 
Liberty that by its origin and excellence imparts to us a 
great resemblance, and, as it were, unites us with the 
Divine Nature itself: for the Gods, tho' they injoy 
immense Pleasures, yet their highest excellency consists 
in having their Will unlimited by any superior Power. 
You that are enemies to Drunkenness, consider seriously 
the course of all sublunary things : consider whether 'Tis 
not the Drunkard that, before all Others, can boast of this 
Liberty, and acts as uncontroulable as the Gods them- 

TOM BROWN, Oration in Praise of Drunkenness (169-) 


MRS FRAIL : Lord, where's the Comfort of this Life, if 
we can't have the Happiness of conversing where we like ? 
WILLIAM CONGREVE, Love for Love (1695) 


In short, Sir, I have got no further than this : every man 
has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other 
man has a right to knock him down for it. 


Life of Johnson (1791) 


The Multiplicity of Religious Sects tolerated among us ... 
is another Source of unexhaustible Publication, almost 
peculiar to ourselves ; for Controversies cannot be long 
continued . . . where an Inquisitor has a Right to shut up 
the Disputants in dungeons ; or where Silence can be 
imposed on either Party, by the Refusal of a License. 

Not that it should be inferred from hence, that Political 
or Religious Controversies are the only Products of the 
Liberty of the British Press ; the Mind once let loose to 
Enquiry, and suffered to operate without Restraint, neces- 
sarily deviates into peculiar Opinions, and wanders in new 
Tracks, where she is indeed sometimes lost in a Labyrinth 
. . . yet sometimes makes useful Discoveries, or finds out 
nearer Paths to Knowledge. . . . 

All these and many other Causes, too tedious to be 
enumerated, have contributed to make Pamphlets and 
small Tracts a very important Part of an English Library. 


Origin and Importance of small tracts (1744) 



For in the new moone they [elephants] come together in 
great companies, and bath and wash them in a river, and 
lowte each to other, and turne so againe to their own places. 


De Proprietatibus Rerum (c. 1240) 
Trans. John Trevisa (1398, modernised 1582) 

Mutianus saith . . . that when the moon is in the wain, 
the monkies and marmosets . . . are sad and heavy, but the 
new moone they adore and joy at, which they testifie by 
hopping and dancing. PLINY THE ELDER 

Natural History (c. 77). Trans. Philemon Holland (1601) 


FALSTAFF : Now, Hal, what time of day is it Lad ? 
PRINCE : . . . . What a divell hast thou to do with the 
time of the day ? unlesse houres were cups of Sacke, 
and minutes Capons, and clockes the tongues of Bawdes, 
MP 353 

and dialls the signes of Leaping-Houses, and the blessed 
Sunne himselfe a faire hot Wench in Flame-coloured 
Taffata ; I see no reason, why thou shouldest bee so super- 
fluous, to demaund the time of the day. 
FAL. : Indeed you come neere me now Hal, for we that 
take Purses, go by the Moone and seven Starres, and not 
by Phoebus hee, that wand'ring Knight so faire. And I 
prithee sweet Wagge, when thou art King ... let not us 
that are Squires of the Nights bodie, bee call'd Theeves of 
the Dayes beautie. Let us be Dianaes Forresters, Gentle- 
men of the Shade, Minions of the Moone ; and let men 
say, we be men of good Government, being governed as 
the Sea is, by our noble and chast mistris the Moone, 
under whose countenance we steale. 
PRINCE : Thou say'st well, and it holds well too : for the 
fortune of us that are the Moones men, doeth ebbe and 
flow like the Sea, being governed as the Sea is, by the 
Moone : as for proofe. Now a Purse of Gold most reso- 
lutely snatch'd on Monday night, and most dissolutely 
spent on Tuesday Morning ; got with swearing, Lay by, 
and spent with crying, Bring in : now, in as low an ebbe 
as the foot of the Ladder, and by and by in as high a flow 
as the ridge of the Gallowes. 


Henry IV, Part I (1596) 

(Edition 1623) 


Take hony at the chaungyng of the moon. 

Book of St. Albans (1486) 


I am surpriz'd, said the Countess, that there should be so 
little mystery in Eclipses and that the whole World should 
not know the Cause of 'em. Nor ever will, said I, as some 
People go about it. In the East Indies, when the Sun and 
Moon are in Eclipse ... the Rivers are cover'd with the 
Heads of Indians, who are up to the Neck in Water, 
because they esteem it a very devout Posture, to implore 
the Sun and the Moon to defend themselves against the 
Devil. In America they are persuaded that the Sun and the 
Moon, when eclipsed, are angry, and what is it they will 
not do to be reconciled with them ? The Greeks, who were 
so refin'd, did they not believe the Moon was enchanted, 
and that the Magicians forc'd her to descend from Heaven, 
and shed a dangerous juice on the Plants ? . . . 

But what do you think, said she, of the People in the 
Moon, are they as afraid of an Eclipse as we are ? It would 
be very burlesque for the Indians there to be up to the 
Neck in Water ; that the Americans should believe the 
Earth angry with them ; the Greeks fancy we were 
bewitch'd, and would destroy their Plants ; in short, that 
we should cause the same Consternation among them, as 
they do here. And why not, said I ? I do not doubt it at 
all ; for why should the People of the Moon have more 
Wit than we ? For my part, I believe that since a prodig- 
ious company of Men have been and still are such Fools 
to adore the Moon, there are People in the Moon that 
worship the Earth, and that we are upon our knees the 
one to the other. . . . 

I am going to tell you one of the agreeable Follies of 
Ariosto, and I am confident you will be well pleas'd to hear 
it : I must confess he had better have let alone St John, 


whose Name is so worthy of Respect, but 'tis a Poetical 
License, and must be allowed. . . . Astolfo a Knight Errant, 
finding himself one day in the terrestrial Paradise, which 
was on the top of a very high Mountain, whereto he was 
carry'd by his flying Horse, meets Si John there, who tells 
him ... he must make a Voyage with him into the Moon. 
Astolfo, who had a great mind to see Countrys, did not 
stand much upon entreaty, and immediately there came a 
fiery Chariot, which carry'd the Apostle and the Knight up 
into the Air ; Astolfo being no great Philosopher, was 
surpriz'd to find the Moon so much bigger than it 
appear'd to him when he was upon the Earth ; to see 
Rivers, Seas, Mountains, Cities, Forrests, nay, what 
would have surpriz'd me too, Nymphs hunting in those 
Forrests ; but that which was most remarkable, was a 
Valley where you might find any thing that was lost in our 
World, of what Nature so ever ; Crowns, Riches, Fame, 
and an infinity of Hopes, the time we spend in Play, and 
in searching for the Philosophers stone, the Alms we give 
after our Death, the Verses we present to great Men and 
Princes, and the Sighs of Lovers ... I assure you the Moon 
keeps all safe that is lost here below . . . everything is 
there, even to the donation of Constantine, i.e. the Popes 
have pretended to be Masters of Rome and Italy by Virtue 
of a Donation which the Emperour Constantine made 
Sylvester; and the truth is, no body knows what is become 
of it ; but what do you think is not to be found in the 
Moon ? Folly, all that ever was upon the Earth is kept 
there still, but in lieu of it, it is not to be imagined how 
many Wits (if I may so call 'em) that are lost here, are got 
up into the Moon, they are so many Vials full of a very 
subtile Liquor, . . . and upon every one of these Vials the 
Names are written to whom the Wits belong'd. . . . 

One of these days there may be a Communication 
between the Earth and the Moon, and who knows what 
great Advantages we may procure by it ? Do but consider 
America before it was discovered by Columbus, how pro- 
foundly ignorant were those People, they knew nothing 
at all of Arts or Sciences, they went naked, had no other 
Arms but a Bow and Arrows, and did not conceive they 
might be carry'd by Animals. . . . The unheard of and 
most surprizing Sight appears, vast great Bodies, with 
white Wings, are seen to fly upon the Sea, to vomit Fire 
from all Parts, and to cast upon their Shoars an unknown 
People, all scaled with Iron, who dispose and govern 
Monsters as they please ; carry Thunder in their Hands, 
and destroy whoever resists 'em. ... Do but consider, 
Madam, the surprize of the Americans, there can be 
nothing greater ; and after this, shall any one say there 
shall never be a Communication between the Moon and 
the Earth. . . . 

Since then there are no Vapours thick enough, nor no 
Clouds of Rain about the Moon, farewell Dawn, adieu 
Rainbow ! What must Lovers do for Similies in that 
Countrey, when such an inexhaustible Magazine of 
Comparisons is taken from them ? 

I doubt not, said the Countess, but there are those in 
the Moon as good at Similyas the greatest Beau in Covent- 
Garden-, and had they neither Sun nor Stars, Pearls 
nor Rubies, Roses nor Lillies, yet could say as many fine 
things to a Visor-Mask, as the pertest Wit at the Puppet 
Show. . . . How glorious are their days, the Sun continu- 
ally shining ! How pleasant their Nights, not the least 
Star is hid from them ! . . . You are describing the Moon, 
/ reply* d, like an enchanted Palace ; but do you think it 
is so pleasant to have a scorching Sun always over our 


Heads, and not the least Cloud to moderate its Heat? Tho' 
I fancy 'tis for this reason that Nature hath made great 
Cavities in the Moon ; . . . what do we know but the 
Inhabitants of the Moon, being continually broil'd by the 
excessive heat of the Sun, do retire into those great Wells ; 
perhaps they live no where else, and 'tis there they build 
'em Cities ; . . . 'Tis no matter, said the Countess, I can 
never suffer the Inhabitants of the Moon to live in per- 
petual darkness. You will be more concern'd for 'em, 
I reply'd, when I tell you that one of the ancient Phil- 
osophers did long since discover the Moon to be the 
abode of the blessed Souls departed out of this Life, and 
that all their Happiness consisted in hearing the Harmony 
of the Spheres ; that is the Musick (I had like io have said 
Noise) which is made by the motion of the Celestial 
Bodies ; if you have seen a Raree Show, you will easily 
comprehend it. ... He tells you, that when the Moon is 
obscur'd by the shadow of the Earth, they no longer hear 
the Heavenly Musick, but howl like so many Souls in 
Purgatory ; so that the Moon taking pity of 'em, makes all 
the haste she can to get into the Light again. 


A Plurality of Worlds (1686) 
Trans. John Glanvill (1688) 

Well, Madam, said /, I have great News for you ; that 
which I told you last Night, of the Moon's being in- 
habited, may not be so now : There is a new Fancy got 
into my Head, which puts those People in great Danger. 
I cannot suffer it, said she ; yesterday you were preparing 
me to receive a Visit from 'em, and now there are no such 
People in Nature : Once you would have me believe the 


Moon was inhabited ; I surmounted the Difficulty I had 
and will now believe it. ... Methinks I have a strang< 
inclination for 'em, and would not have 'em destroyed, i 
it were possible to save 'em. You know, Madam, said 1 
I can deny you nothing ; the Moon shall no longer be 
Desart, but to do you service, we will repeople her. . . . 



Another way is, to Charm the Moon thus ; At the firs 
appearance of the new Moon after New-year's Day, g 
out in the Evening, and stand over the Sparrs of a Gate 
or Stile, looking on the Moon and say, 

All Hail to the Moon, all Hail to thee, 

I prithee good Moon reveal to me, 

This Night, who my Husband (wife) must be, 

You must presently after go to Bed. 

I knew two Gentlewomen that did this when they wer 
young Maids, and they had Dreams of those that Marrie 

JOHN AUBREY, Miscellanies (169* 


The Moon, in her pride, once glanced aside 
Her eyes and espied the day ; 
As unto his bed, in wastcoat of red, 
Faire Phoebus him led the way ; 

Such changes of thought, in her chastitie wrought, 
That thus she besought the boy, 

tarry, and marry the Starry Diana, 
That will be thy Jem and Joy. 

1 will be as bright at noon as at night, 
If that may delight the day ; 

Come hither and joine thy glories with mine. 

Together we'el shine for aye. 

The night shall be noon, and every moon 

As pleasant as June or May ; 

O tarry, and marry the Starry Diana, 

That will be thy Jem and Joy. 

Enamour'd of none, I live chast and alone, 

Though courted of one, some say ; 

And true if it were so frivolous feare 

Let never my dear dismay ; 

Fie change my opinion, and turne my old Minion, 

The Sleepy Endimion away, 

O tarry, and Marry the Starry Diana, 

That will be thy Jem and Joy. 

And but that the night, should have wanted her 


Or lovers in sight should play, 
Or Phoebus should shame to bestow such a dame 
(With a dow'r of his flame) on a Boy, 
Or day should appear, eternally here, 
And night otherwhere, the day 
Had tarry'd and marry'd the starry'd Diana, 
And she been his Jem and Joy. 


The Moons Love* (Westminster Drollery, 1672) 


I saw new Worlds beneath the Water lye, 
New Peeple ; yea, another Sky . . . 
Just such another 
Of late my Brother 
Did in his Travel see, and saw by Night, 

A much more strange and wondrous Sight ; 
Nor could the World exhibit such another 
So Great a Sight, but in a Brother. . . , 

As he went tripping o'r the King's high-way, 
A little pearly River lay 

O'r which, without a Wing 
Or Oar, he dar'd to swim, 
Swim throu the Air 
On Body fair ; 

He would not, use nor trust Icarian wings 
Lest they should prov deceitful tilings ; 
For had he fain, it had been wondrous high, 

Not from but from abov, the Sky ; 
He might have dropt throu that thin Element 
Into a fathomless Descent ; 
Unto the nether Sky 
That did beneath him ly, 
And there might tell 
What wonders dwell, 
On Earth abov. Yet doth he briskly run, 

And bold the Danger overcom ; 
Who, as he leapt, with Joy related soon 
How happy he o'r-leapt the Moon. . . . 

As much as others thought themselvs to ly 
Beneath the Moon, so much more high 
Himself he thought to fly 
Abov the starry Sky, 
As that he spy'd 
Below the Tide . . . 
Thus did he yield me in the shady Night 

A wondrous and instructiv Light, 
Which taught me that under our Feet there is, 

As o'r our Heads, a Place of Bliss. 
To the same purpos ; he, not long before 

Brought home from Nurse, going to the door 
To do som little thing 
He must not do within, 
With Wonder cries, 
As in the Skies 
He saw the Moon, O yonder is the Moon 

Newly com after me to Town, 
That shin'd at Lugwardin but yesternight^ 
Where I enjoy'd the self-same Light. 


On Leaping over the Moon : Poems of Felicity 

(? 1656-66) 


For this man affirmeth that the thing, which we call the 
face in the Moone, are the images and figures of the great 
ocean, represented in the Moone as in a mirrour. . . . 


And the full Moone her selfe is, for evennesse, smooth- 
nesse, and lustre, the most beautifull and purest mirrour 
in the world. . . . 

The figure of the Ocean 

is just resembled here 

In flaming mirrour, when great waves 

it doth against it reare. . . . 

As to that dull and slowe course of hers, that weake and 
feeble heat. . . . unto what shall we attribute the same, if 
not to her imbecilitie, in case an eternall and heavenly 
body can be subject unto any such passion. 


Morals : Of the Face appearing in the Roundle of the 

Trans. Philemon Holland (1603) 


In Yorkeshire the country woemen doe still Jiailst the 
new mewne, . . . they kneel with their bare knees on a 
grownd-fast stene and say all haile etc. The moon hath a 
greater influence on woemen than on men. 


Remaines of Gentilisme andjudaisme (1687) 




LADY : Hoe ! who is in the inner Chamber ? how now, 
Maidens, heere you not ? are you deafe ? 
PRUDENCE : I am heere Madam. 

LADY : Why do you suffer me to sleepe so long ? I am 
ashamed of myself truely. 

PRUDENCE : I came heather soft and faire, once or twice, 
to see if you were awaked, and seeing you a sleepe I durst 
not awake you, but it is not so late as you thinkc. 
LADY : What is it a clocke ? 
PRUDENCE : It is but halfe an houre past seaven. 
LADY : What is it so farre day ? Oh God ! I went to bed 
yesternight so timely, thinking to rise this morning, at 
the farthest at 6 a clock : now I verifie in me the grave 
speeches of that great Philosopher, the Emperor Marc. 
Aur. speaking of the unsatiableness of mankinde, when 
he said (among other things) the more I sleep, the more 
I would sleep. Go too go too, draw the windowe Cur- 
taines : call my page, let him bring some wood to my 
Chamber doore, make a fier quickly, that I may rise . . . 
LADY : God ! how long you make me tarrye ! Kindle the fire 


quickly, warme my smocke and give it to me. Where is 
Joly ? Call her : 

PRUDENCE : She commeth Madame. Mistress Jolye, My 
Ladye calleth you in great hast : . . . 
LADY : Will you keepe me heere all the day ? Where be 
all my thinges ? Goe fetch my cloathes : bring my petty- 
coate bodyes : I meane my damask quilt bodies with 
whale bones, what lace doe you give me heere ? this lace 
is too shorte, the tagges are broken, I cannot lace myselfe 
with it, take it away, I will have that of greene silke : when 
shall I have my undercoate ? Give me my peticoate of 
wroughte Crimson velvet with silver fringe : why doe you 
not give me my nightgowne ? For I take colde : where be 
my stockens ? Give me some cleane sockes, I will have no 
woorsted hosen, showe me my Carnation silk stockins : 
where laid you last night my gaiters ? Take away these 
slippers, give me my velvet pantofles ; send for the shoo- 
maker that he may have again these turn-over shooes, for 
they be too high. Put on my white pumpes ; set them up 
I will have none of them : Give me rather my Spanish 
leather shooes, for I will walke to-day, . . . Tye the strings 
with a strong double knot, for feare they untye them- 
selves : Jolye, come dresse my head, set the Table further 
from the fire, it is too neere. Put my chayre in his place. 
Why doe you not set my great looking glasse on the table ? 
It is too high, set the supporter lower. Undoe my night 
attire : Why doe you not call the Page to warme the 
rubbers ? let him be called : heere sirra warme that, and 
take heede you burne it not. I praye you Jolye rubbe well 
my head, for it is very full of dandrife, are not my combes 
in the case ? Combe me with the boxen combe : Give me 
first my combing cloth, otherwise you will fill me full of 
haires, the haires will fall upon my cloathes, Combe 


backeward, O God ! you combe too harde, you scratch 
me, you pull out my hayres, can you not untangle them 
softly with your handes before you put the combe to it ? 
JOLYE : Will it please you to rise up a little Madame ? For 
your haires are so long, that they trayle on the ground. 
LADY : My daughter Fleurimonde is like me in that, hath 
she not fayre haires, what say you of it ? 
JOLYE : Truly Madame she hath the fayrest, the longest 
flaxen-couler haires that one can see, there needeth no 
curling of them, for they are curled of themselves. In 
truth she hath the fayrest head of haires that ever I sawe. 
LADY : I like her the better for it, it is a thing verye comely 
for a woman, and as Saint Paul saith, It is an Ornament 
unto her, but whilst we prattle, we forget that the time 
goeth away : go too, I am combed enough. Page take the 
combe-brushes, and make cleane my combes, take heed 
you doe not make them cleane with those that I use to 
my head : take a quill to take away the filth from them, 
and then put them in the case, that none be missing : go 
too, make an end of dressing my head. 
JOLYE : What doth it please you to weare to-day Ma- 
dame ? Will it please you to weare your haires onely, or 
els to have your French whood ? . . . 
LADY : Set up then my French whood and my Border of 
Rubies, give me an other head attyre : take the key of my 
closet, and goe fetch my long boxe where I set my Jewels 
(for to have them out) that I use to weare on my head, 
what is become of my wyer ? Where is the haire-cap ? 
Have you any ribans to make knots ? Where be the laces 
for to bind my haires ? Go too Page, give me some water 
to wash, where's my muske ball ? Give me rather my 
paste of Almonds, for it scoureth better : where is my 


piece of Scarlet to wipe my face ? Give me that napkin : 
now set on my Carkenet of precious stones : call my 
Taylor to bring my gowne, not the close one, but my 
open gowne of white Sattin layd on with buttons of 
Pearle. Prudence, give me my bracelets of Aggathes : 
Shall I have no vardingale ? You remember nothing, you 
have a Coneyes memorye, you lose it in running, go too 
you head-braine fellowe, Page hear you ? You doe but 
playe the foole, doe you not see that I want my buske ? 
what is become of the buske-poyne ? 
JOLYE : What dooth it please you to have Madame, a ruffe 
band or a Rebato ? 

LADY : Let me see that ruffe, How is it that the supporter 
is so soyled ? I knowe not for what you are fit, that you 
cannot so much as to keep my cloathes cleane : I beleeve 
that the meanest woman in this towne, hath her apparel 
in better order then I have : take it away give me my 
Rebato of cut-worke edged, is not the wyer after the same 
sorte as the other ? It is a great wonder if it be any thing 
better, Me think it is now time that you should know 
how to serve. Is there no small pinnes for my Cuffes ? 
Looke in the pinne-cushen. Pinne that with a blacke pinne, 
give me my girdle and see that all the furniture be at it : 
looke if my Cizers, the pincers, the pen-knife, the knife 
to close Letters, with the bodkin, the ear-picker, and my 
Scale be in the case : where is my pursse to weare upon 
my gowne ? And see that my silver Comfet box be full 
of Comfets : have I a cleane handkercher ? I will have no 
Muffe, for it is not colde, but shall I have no gloves ? 
Bring my maske and my fanne. Help me to put on my 
Chayne of pearles. Page come hether, goe to my Ladye 
of Beau-Sejour, have me most humblye commended unto 
her, and tell her that if she have not greater busines, if it 


pleaseth her to take the paines to come and dyne with us, 
and bring with her, her sister, Mistresse Du-Pont-Gailliard, 
they shall be most hartilie welcome, and whome so ever 
it shall please them to bring with them, and we will do 
something this afternoone for to recreate us and passe the 
time : goe your wayes, bring me an answer forthwith : 
and you Prudence set up all my night-geare, put them in 
the cushen cloath, dresse my chamber, and then goe aske 
Mistresse Clemence (my Daughters Mistresse) if they be 
readye ? Bid her bring with her to me in the galleris, 
Fleurimonde and Chariot with their worke. Jolye come with 
me, carye with you my prayer-booke and my Psalter, first 
goe to the boyes chamber, see if they be readie : come 
againe by and by, to the end that I be not alone, you shall 
finde me in the gallerie. PIERRE ERONDELL 

The French Garden (1605) 



Let us drink and be merry, dance. Joke and Rejoice., 
With Claret and Sherry, Theorbo and Voice, 
The changeable World to our Joy is unjust, 
All Treasure uncertain, then down with your dust. 
In Frollicks dispose your pounds, shillings, and pence, 
For we shall be nothing a hundred year hence. 

Wee'l kiss and be free with Nan, Betty and Philly, 
Have Oysters, and Lobsters, to cure M aids Belly ; 
Fish-Dinners will make a Lass spring like a Flea, 
Dame Venus (Love's Godess) was born of the sea. 
With her and with Bacchus wee'll tickle the sense, 
For we shall be past it a hundred year hence. 


The Epicure. Sung by one in the habits of a Town 

Gallant (1675) 


But Lord ! to see how my nature could not refrain from 
the temptation ; but I must invite them to Foxhall, to 
Spring Gardens, though I had freshly received minutes 
of a great deal of extraordinary business. However, I 
could not help it. ... So here I spent 2os. upon them, 
and were pretty merry. Among other things, had a fellow 
that imitated all manner of birds, and dogs, and hogs, with 
his voice, which was mighty pleasant. Staid here till night. 


Diary (May 29, 1666) 


His chaplain, Dr Lushington, was a very learned and in- 
geniose man, and they loved one another. The bishop some- 
times would take the key of the wine-cellar, and he and his 
chaplaine would goe and lock themselves in and be merry. 


Then first he layes downe his episcopal! hat 3 " There 
lyes the Dr." Then he putts of his gowne, " There lyes 
the Bishop." Then 'twas," Here's to thee, Corbet," and 
" Here's to thee, Lushington." JOHN AUBREY 

Brief Lives : Richard Corbet (c. 1680) 


Allsouls day, soldiers and trumpeters with Leopold Finch, 
warden of Allsouls, in the dining roome next to the street 
all the afternoon till about 9 at night, drinking healths 
and every health they sounded the English church then 
languishing. What ! Are the Oxonian scholars mad ? to 
revel it ; drink and eat ; frequent taverns, alehouses, coffee- 
houses ; be debonare when the church layes languishing. 

ANTHONY WOOD, Life and Times (Nov. 2, 1679) 


At Brighthelmstone ... in the year 1808, Hobhouse, 
Scrope Davies, Major Cooper and myself, having dined 
together with Lord Delvin, Count (I forget the french 
Emigrant nomenclature) and others, did about the middle 
of the night (we four) proceed to a house of Gambling, 
being then amongst us possest of about twenty guineas 
of ready cash. . . . We lost them, returning home in bad 
humour. Cooper went home, Scrope and Hobhouse and I 
(it being high Summer) did firstly strip and plunge into 
the sea, whence after half an hour's swimming ... we 


emerged in our dressing-gowns to discuss a bottle or two 
of Champaigne and Hock (according to choice) at our 
quarters. In course of this discussion, words arose ; 
Scrope seized H. by the throat ; H. seized a knife in self- 
defence, and stabbed Scrope in the shoulder to avoid being 
throttled. Scrope fell bathed in blood and wine for the 
bottle fell with him being infinitely intoxicated with 
Gaming, Sea-bathing at two in the morning, and Supple- 
mentary Champaigne. ... At length, with many oaths and 
some difficulty, he was gotten to bed. 

LORD BYRON, Detached Thoughts (1821-2) 


SPUDEUS : But what ? Be there any abuses in their Maie- 
games like unto these : 

PHILOPONUS : As many as in the other. The order of them 
is thus : Against Maie, Whitsondaie, or some other tyme 
of the yeare, every Parishe, Towne, and Village, assemble 
themselves together, bothe men, women, and children, 
olde and yong, even all indifferently ; and either goyng 
all together, or devidyng themselves into companies, they 
goe some to the woodes and groves, some to the hilles 
and Mountaines, some to one place, some to an other, 
where they spende all the night in pleasant pastymes, and 
in the mornyng they returne, bringing with them Birch, 
Bowes, and braunches of Trees, to deck their assemblies 
withall : And no marvaile, for there is a great lord present 
amongst them, as superintendent and Lorde over their 
pastymes and sportes : namely, Sathan, Prince of Hell. 
But their cheefest Jewell they bring from thence is their 


Male poole, which they bring home with greate venera- 
tion, as thus : They have twentie or fourtie yoke of Oxen, 
every Oxe havyng a sweete Nosegaie of flowers tyed on the 
tippe of his homes, and these Oxen drawe home this Maie 
poole (this stinckyng Idoll rather), which is covered all 
over with Flowers and Hearbes, bounde rounde aboute 
with stringes, from the top to the bottome, and some- 
tyme painted with variable colours, with twoo or three 
hundred men, women, and children followyng it, with 
greate devotion. And thus beyng reared up, with hand- 
kercheifes and flagges streamyng on the toppe, they strawe 
the grounde aboute, binde greene boughes about it, sett 
up Sommer Haules, Bowers, and Arbours hard by it; and 
then fall they to banquet and feast, to leape and daunce 
aboute it, as the Heathen people did at the dedication of 
their Idolles, whereof this is a perfect patterne, or rather 
the thyng it self. . . . 

Assuredly, I thinke neither Jewes nor Turkes, Sarasins, 
nor Pagans, nor any other people, how wicked or 
barbarous soever, have ever used such devilish exercises 
as these ; naie, they would have been ashamed, once to 
have named them, muche lesse to have used them : yet wee 
that would bee Christians thinke them not amisse. The 
Lorde forgive us, and remove them from us ! 


The Anatomic of Abuses (1583) 


It is now August . . . now beginne the Gleaners to follow 
the Corne Cart, and a little bread to a great deale of 


drinke makes the Travailers dinner : the Melowne and the 
Cucumber is now in request : and Oyle and vinegar give 
attendance on the Sallet hearbes : the Alehouse is more 
frequented then the Taverne . . . and in the fayre Rivers, 
swimming is a sweet exercise : the Bow and the Bowie pick 
many a purse, and the Cockes with their heeles spume away 
many a mans wealth : The Pipe and the Taber is now lus- 
tily at worke, and the Lad and the Lasse will have no lead 
on their heeles : the new Wheat makes the Gossips Cake, 
and the Bride Cup is carried above the heads of the whole 
Parish : the Furmenty pot welcomes home the Harvest 
Cart, and the Garland of flowers crownes the Captaine of 
the Reapers. Oh, tis the merry time, wherein honest 
Neighbours make good cheere, and God is glorified in his 
blessings on the earth. In summe, for that I find, I thus 
conclude, I hold it the worlds welfare, and the earths 


Fantasticks (1626) 


Come Sons of Summer, by whose toile, 
We are the Lords of Wine and Oile : 
By whose tough labours, and rough hands, 
We rip up first, then reap our lands. 
Crown'd with the eares of come, now come. 
And, to the Pipe, sing Harvest home ; 
Come forth, my lord, and see the Cart 
Drest up with all the Country Art , . . 


The Horses, Mares, and frisking Fillies, 

(Clad, all, in Linnen, white as Lillies) 

The Harvest Swaines, and Wenches bound 

For joy, to see the Hock-cart crown'd. 

About the Cart, heare, how the Rout 

Of Rurall Younglings raise the shout ; 

Pressing before, some coming after, 

Those with a shout, and these with laughter. 

Some blesse the Cart ; some kisse the sheaves ; 

Some prank them up with Oaken leaves 

Well, on, brave boyes, to your Lords Hearth, 

Glitt'ring with fire ; where, for your mirth, 

Ye shall see first the large and cheefe 

Foundation of your Feast, Fat Beefe : . . . 

With Sev'rall dishes standing by, 

As here a Custard, there a Pie, 

And here all tempting Frumentie. 

And for to make the merry cheere, 

If smirking Wine be wanting here, 

There's that, which drowns all care, stout 


To the rough Sickle, and crookt Sythe, 
Drink frollick boyes, till all be blythe. . . . 
And, you must know, your Lords word's true, 
Feed him ye must, whose food fils you, 
And that this pleasure is like raine, 
Not sent ye for to drowne your paine, 
But for to make it spring againe. 


The Hock-Cart, or Harvest Home. Hesperides (1648) 




GATTY : How I envy that Sex ! well ! we cannot plague 
'em enough when we have it in our power for those 
privileges which custom has allow'd 'em above us. 
ARIANA : The truth is, they can run and ramble here, and 
there, and every where, and we poor Fools rather think 
the better of 'em. 

GATTY : From one Play-house to the other Play-house, 
and if they like neither the Play nor the Women, they seldom 
stay any longer than the combing of their Perriwigs, or a 
whisper or two with a Friend ; and then they cock their 
Caps, and out they strut again. SIR GEO RGE ETHEREGE 

She wou'd if she cou'd (1668) 


Women, while untainted by affectation, have a natural 
cheerfulness of mind, tenderness, and benignity of heart, 
which justly endears them to us, either to animate our 
joys, or soothe our sorrows. LORD CHESTERFIELD 

On Female Coxcombs (1737) 

The spontaneous grace, the melting voice, and the sooth- 
ing looks of a female. 

ISAAC DISRAELI, Curiosities of Literature (1791-1823) 


They have all many wives, and the Lordes five fold to the 
common sort : their wives never eate with their husbands, 
nor among the men, but serve their husbandes at meales, 
and after war des feede by themselves. Those that are past 
their yonger yeares, make all their breade and drinke, and 
worke their cotton beddes, and doe all else of service and 
labour, for the men doe nothing but hunte, fish, play and 
drinke, when they are out of the wars. 

SIR WALTER RALEIGH, The Discoverie of Guiana (1596) 

The Women of the Land of Jesso, who spend all their 
time in dressing their Husbands Dinners and Suppers, and 
painting their Lips and Eye-brows blue, only to please the 
greatest Villains in the World. 

B. DE FONTENELLE, A Plurality of Worlds (1686) 
Trans. John Glanvill (1688) 


He makes mortal War with the Fox for committing Acts 
of Hostility against his Poultry. He is very solicitous to 


have his Dogs well descended of worshipfull Families, and 
understands their Pedigree as learnedly as if he were a 
Herald. ... He is both Cook and Physician to his Hounds. 
. . . Nor is he less skilfull in Physiognomy, and from the 
Aspects of their Faces, Shape of their Snouts, falling of 
their Ears and Lips, and Make of their Barrells, will give a 
shrewd Guess at their Inclinations, Partes, and Abilities, 
and what Parents they are lineally descended from. . . . 
He believes no Musick in the World is comparable to 
a Chorus of their Voices, and that when they are well 
match'd they will hunt their Partes as true at first Scent, 
as the best Singers of Catches, that ever open'd in a 
Tavern, that they understand the Scale as well as the best 
Scholler . . . and that when he windes his Horn to them, 
'tis the very same thing with a Cornet in a quire. . . . 
Let the Hare take which Way she will, she selldom fails 
to lead him at long running to the Alehouse, where he 
meets with an Aftergame of Delight, in making up a 
Narrative, how every Dog behav'd himself; which is 
never done without long Dispute . . . and if there be 
any Thing remarkable, to his Thinking, in it, he preserves 
it to please himself, and, as he believes, all People els with, 
during his naturall Life, and after leaves it to his Heirs 
Male entail'd upon the Family, with his Bugle-Horn 
and Seal-Ring. SAMUEL BUTLER 

Characters : A Hunter (1667-69) 


A glimpse through an interstice caught 

Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room around 


the stove late of a winter night, and I unremark'd seated in 
a corner, 

Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently ap- 
proaching and seating himself near, that he may hold me by 
the hand, 

A long while amid the noises of coining and going, of 
drinking and oath and smutty jest, 
There we two content, happy in being together, speaking 
little, perhaps not a word. WALT WH ITMAN 

A Glimpse (1855) 


He-festivals, with blackguard gibes, ironical license, bull- 
dances, drinking, laughter. WALT WHITMAN 

Song of Myself (1*55) 


Thence we went to the Green Dragon, on Lambeth Hill 
. . . and there we sang of all sorts of things . . . and after 
that I played on my flageolet, and staid there till nine 
o'clock, very merry and drawn on with one song after 
another till it came to be so late. After that Sheply, Har- 
rison and myself, we went towards Westminster on foot, 
and at the Golden Lion, near Charing Cross, we went in 
and drank a pint of wine, and so parted, and thence home, 
where I found my wife and maid a-washing. I staid up till 
the bell-man came by with his bell just under my window 


as I was writing of this very line, and cried, " Past one of 
the clock, and a cold, frosty, windy morning." I then went 
to bed, and left my wife and the maid a-washing still. 

SAMUEL PEPYS, Diary (Jan. 16, 1660) 


In our way, Johnson strongly expressed his love of 
driving fast in a post-chaise. " If [said he] I had no duties, 
and no reference to futurity, I would spend my life in 
driving briskly in a post-chaise with a pretty woman ; 
but she should be one who could understand me, and 
would add something to the conversation." 

JAMES BOS WELL, Life of Johnson (1791) 


A well-dressed man may lead in a well-dressed woman to 
any tavern in London. j^-j 


Soft Recreations fit the Female-kind ; 
Nature, for Man, has rougher Sports design'd 
To wield the Sword, and hurl the pointed Spear ; 
To stop, or turn the Steed, in full Career. 

OVID, Art of Love (c. 2 B.C.) 
Trans. William Congreve (1709) 




I have heard . . . that you are safely delivered of a 
daughter. I am extreamly glad . . . tHat you have a daugh- 
ter, for my opinion hath ever bin that I would have hand- 
some Woemen have none but daughters, and I hope you 
will have as many as your Mother hath had and will 
have. . . . 


Letter to Countess of Devonshire (1640) 



You will be diverted to hear that Mr Gibbon has quar- 
relled with me. He lent me his second volume in the 
middle of November. I returne it with a most civil 
panegyric. He came for more incense ; I gave it, but alas ! 
with too much sincerity ; I added, " Mr Gibbon, I am 
sorry you should have pitched on so disgusting a subject 
as the Constantinopolitan History. There is so much of 
the Arians and Eunomians and semi-Pelagians ; and there 
is such a strange contrast between Roman and Gothic 
manners, and so little harmony between a Consul Sabinus 
and a Ricimer, Duke of the Palace, that, though you have 


written the story as well as it could be written, I fear few 
will have patience to read it." He coloured ; all his round 
features squeezed themselves into sharp angles ; he 
screwed up his button-mouth, and rapping his snuff-box, 
said, " It had never been put together before " so welly 
he meant to add but gulped it. He meant so well, 
certainly, for Tillement, whom he quotes on every page, 
has done the very thing. I well knew his vanity, even about 
his ridiculous face and person, but thought he had too 
much sense to avow it so palpably. 


Letter to William Mason (1781) 


For the libel you speak of, upon that most unwitty 
Generation, the present Poets, I rejoyce in it with all my 
Heart, and shall take it for a Favour if you will send me 
a copy. He cannot want Wit utterly, that has a Spleen 
to those Rogues, tho' never so dully express'd. 

JOHN WILMOT, Earl of Rochester 
Letter to Henry Savile (1678) 


Byron always became gay when any subject afforded him 
an opportunity of ridiculing poets ; he entered into it 
con amove. 

Journal of Conversation with Lord Byron (1834) 



Poor Fielding ! I could not help telling his sister that I 
was equally surprised at and concerned for his continued 
lowness. Had your brother, said I, been born in a stable, 
or been a runner at a sponging-house, we should have 
thought him a genius, and wished he had had the advan- 
tage of a liberal education, and of being admitted into 
good company. 


Letter to Mrs Balfour (1754) 


Will. Prosper . . . makes it his business to join in Con- 
versation with Envious Men. He points to such an hand- 
som Young Fellow, and whispers that he is secretly mar- 
ried to a Great Fortune : When they doubt, he adds Cir- 
cumstances to prove it ; and never fails to aggravate their 
Distress by assuring 'em that to his knowledge he has an 
Uncle will leave him some Thousands. Will, has many 
Arts of this kind to torture this sort of Temper, and de- 
lights in it. When he finds them change colour, and say 
faintly They wish such a Piece of News is true, he has the 
Malice to speak, some good or other of every Man of 
their Acquaintance. 

The Reliefs of the Envious Man are those little Blem- 
ishes and Imperfections, that discover themselves in an 
Illustrious Character. It is matter of great Consolation to 
an Envious Person, when a Man of Known Honour does 


a thing Unworthy himself: You see an Envious 

Man clear up his Countenance, if in the Relation of any 
Man's Great Happiness in one Point, you mention his 
Uneasiness in another. When he hears such a one is very 
rich he turns Pale, but recovers when you add that he has 
many Children. 


Spectator (1711) 

To your Business hereafter, but first lets have a Dance, 
as Mr Bays says ... I found your three Letters full of 
Wit and Humour. I was charm'd with the scandal you writ 
in the first and enclosed in the last, viz. A 's poem . . . 
Certainly, since the Devil was Dumb, there never was 
such a Poet. 


Letter to John Dennis (1695) 


Grr there go, my heart's abhorrence ! 
Water your damned flower-pots, do ! 
If hate killed men, Brother Lawrence, 
God's blood, would not mine kill you ! 
At the meal we sit together : 
Salve tibi ! I must hear 
Wise talk of the kind of weather, 
Sort of season, time of year : . . . . 

Whew ! We'll have our platter burnished, 

Laid with care on our own shelf ! 

With a fire-new spoon we're furnished. 

And a goblet for ourself, 

Rinsed like something sacrificial 

Ere 'tis fit to touch our chaps 

Marked with L. for our initial ! 

(He, he ! There his lily snaps !) . . . 

There's a great text in Galatians, 
Once you trip on it, entails 
Twenty-nine distinct damnations, 
One sure, if another fails, 
If I trip him just a-dying, 
Sure of Heaven as sure can be, 
Spin him round and send him flying 
Off to Hell, a Manichee ? 

Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister (1842) 


Simon Magus . . . having challenged St. Peter to doe 
miracles with him, attempted to fly from the Capitoll to 
the Aventine Hill. But when he was in the midst of the 
way, St. Peters prayers did overcome his sorceries, and 
violently bring him to the ground, in which fall having 
broke his thigh, within a while after he died. 


Mathematickall Magick (1648) 



Neptune sate in his Chariot High 

Drawn by Six Hippopotami ; . . . 

On tunefull Shells the Tritons playd, 

The Winds and Storms to sleep were laid. 
And a profound Peace o'r the Deep was spread. 
Mermaids in melting streins their Voices try'd, 

And Sea-Nymphs in soft Airs reply'd ; 
That even rude Rocks and surly Seas took in the 
Musick Pride. 

Mountainous Whales before the Court were sent, 

That mov'd all Lets out of the way ; 
And, where the Road thro' Creeks or Inlets lay, 
Shuffled up Isles into a Continent. . . . 

Near these their Place did take 
Sea-Elephants that on the Rocks do sleep, 

That overlook the Deep ; . . . 
The Sea-Mors, that's kill'd for his sovereign Horn, 
And thought by some the onely Unicorn. . . . 
The Dolphin, that in Musick doth delight, 
And all surpasses in a speedy flight. . . . 
NP 385 

The Remora, the Wonder of the Sea, 

That Ships even under sail can stay : 
Small in his Bulk, but hoisting round their Keels, 
No Waves or Tydes the Captive force away : 
Whom Neptune did forbid to touch his Chariot- 
Wheels. . . . 

Within and round are shown 
The Tombs of the Atlantian Kings : 

Which of themselves are Stately things. 
But by accession of Sea-Treasure Nobler gown. 

Each common Stone 
A Jaspis or a Hyacinth doth grow : 
Mother of Pearl the common roads doth strow. 
And ev'n Plebean Tombs do Sapphires show. . . . 

A Band of Tritons upon Neptune wait, 

And guard his Palace Gate, 
And yet keep up the old Atlantian State. 

The Castles and the Towns remain, 
The Citties yet their Privileges retain : 
Tritons do in the Nobles Houses stay, 
And Sea-Nymphs in the Groves and Meadows 

Hence Curiosity me led 

To view the Neighbouring Sea : 

Where 'tis with Green Sargossa spread. 

And imitates a Flowry Mead ; 
Doth the unwearied Eye to rove invite, 
And every where gives Prospects of Delight : 
Under whose Shade the harmless Fry, 

No Fear nor Danger nigh, 

Their Innocent Revels keep, 

And deck with sparkling Pearly scales the Deep 


Nor could I miss Cape Comori, 
Where mounts of Fruitfull Shell-fish ly, 
That Orient Pearls do in their womb contain. 
Where the bold Indian jumps into the Main, 
Doth down into the Shining Bottom Dive, 
That needs no Light, but what the Pearls do 


The Submarine Voyage (1691) 


The swiftest of al other living creatures whatsoever, and 
not of sea-fish only, is the Dolphin, quicker than the 
flying fowle, swifter than the arrow shot out of a bow. . . . 
The Dolphin is a creature that carries a loving affection 
not only unto man, but also to musicke : delighted he is 
with harmony in song, but especially with the sound of 
the water instrument, or such kind of pipes. Of a man he is 
nothing aifraid, neither avoides from him as a stranger : 
but of himsclfe meeteth their ships, plaieth and disportes 
himselfe, and fetcheth a thousand friskes and gamboles 
before them. He will swim along by the mariners, as it 
were for a wager, who should make way most speedily, 
and alwaies outgoeth them, saile they with never so good 
a fore- wind. 

In the daies of Augustus Ceasar the Emperour, there was 
a Dolphin entred the gulfe or poole Lucrinus, which 
loved wondrous well a certain boy a poore mans son ; who 
using to goe every day to schoole from Baianum to 
Puteoli, was woont also about noone-tide to stay at the 
water side, and to call unto the Dolphin, Simo, Simo, and 


many times would give him fragements of bread, which of 
purpose he ever brought with him, and by this meanes 
allured the Dolphin to come ordinarily unto him at his call. 
(I would make scruple and bash to insert this tale in my 
storie and to tell it out, but that Mecenas Fabianus, Flavins 
Alfius, and many others have set it downe for a truth in 
their chronicles.) Well in processe of time, at what houre 
soever of the day this boy lured for him and called Simo, 
were the Dolphin never so close hidden in any secret or 
blind corner, out he would and come abroad, yea and skud 
amaine to this lad ; and taking bread and other victuals at 
his hand, would gently offer him his back to mount upon, 
and then downe went the sharp pointed prickles of his fins, 
which he would put up as it were within a sheath for fear 
of hurting the boy. Thus when he had him once on his 
back, he would carry him over the broad arme of the sea 
as farre as Puteoli to schoole ; and in like manner convey 
him back again home : and thus he continued for many 
yeeres together, so long as the child live. But when the 
boy was fallen sicke and dead, yet the Dolphin gave not 
over his haunt, but usually came to the wonted place, and 
missing the lad, seemed to be heavie and mourne again, 
until for very griefe and sorrow (as it doubtles to be pre- 
sumed) he also was found dead upon the shore 

But there is no end of examples in this kinde : for the 
Amphilochians and Tarentines testifie as much, as touch- 
ing Dolphins which have bin enamoored of little boies : 
which induceth me the rather to beleeve the tale that goes 
of Arion. This Avion being a notable musitian and plaier 
of the harpe, chanced to fall into the hands of certain 
mariners in the ship where he was, who supposing that he 
had good store of money about him, which he had gotten 
with his instrument, were in hand to kill him and cast him 


over boord for the said monie ... he, seeing himselfe at 
their devotion and mercie, besought them in the best 
manner that he could devise to suffer him yet before he 
died, to play one fit of mirth with his harpe ; which they 
granted : (at his musicke and sound of harpe, a number 
of Dolphins came flocking about him :) which done, they 
turne him over shipbord into the sea ; where one of the 
Dolphins tooke him upon his backe, and carried him safe 
to the bay of Taenarus. PLINY Tm ELDR 

Natural History (c. 77) 
Trans. Philemon Holland (1601) 


The Tyrian Merchant, or the Portuguese, 
Can hardly build one Ship of many Trees : 
But of one Tortoise^ when he list to float, 
Th 5 Arabian Fisher-man can make a boat. 


Divine Weekes and Workes (1592) 

Trans, from Guillaume Du Bartas 


As large, as bright, as coloured as the bow 
Of Iris, when unfading it doth show 
Beyond a silvery shower, was the arch 
Through which this Pathian army took its march 
Into the outer courts of Neptune's state : 
Whence could be seen, direct, a golden gate. . . 

Far as the mariner on highest mast 

Can see all round upon the calmed vast 

So wide was Neptune's hall : and as the blue 

Doth vault the waters, so the waters drew 

Their doming curtains, high, magnificent, 

Awed from the throne aloof; and when storm-rent 

Disclosed the thunder-gloomings in Jove's air ; 

But, soothed as now, flash'd sudden everywhere 

Noiseless sub-marine cloudlets, glittering 

Death to a human eye : for there did spring 

From natural west, and east, and south and north, 

A light as of four sunsets, blazing forth 

A gold-green zenith 'bove the Sea-God's head. 

Of lucid depth the floor, and far outspread 

As breezeless lake, on which the slim canoe 

Of feather'd Indian darts about, as through 

The delicatest air. . . . 

They stood in dreams 
Till Triton blew his horn. The palace rang 
The Nereids danced ; the Syrens faintly sang. . . . 


Endymion (1818) 


This is the season for sailing. For already the twittering 
swallow has come, and the pleasant west wind ; the mead- 
ows are in flower, and the sea, broken lately by waves and 
the rough gale, has become silent. Take up the anchors, 
sailor, and let loose the ropes, and set sail, giving out the 


whole canvas. This I, Priapus of the harbour, command, 
that you, O man may set sail for all kinds of traffic. 

Leonidas of Tarentum (3rd cent. B.C.) 
Trans. George Burges 


This morning the King's Proclamation against drinking, 
swearing, and debauchery, was read to our ships' compan- 
ies in the fleet, and indeed it gives great satisfaction to all. 
SAMUEL PEPYS, Diary (June 4, 1660) 


Then, looking on the waters, I was ware 
Of something drifting through delighted air, 
An isle of roses and another near ; 
And more, on each hand, thicken, and appear 
In shoals of bloom ; as in unpeopled skies 
Save by two stars, more crowding lights arise, 
And planets bud where'er we turn our mazed eyes. 
I gaz'd unhinder'd : Mermaids six or seven, 
Ris'n from the deeps to gaze on sun and heaven, 
Cluster'd in troops and halo'd by the light, 
Those Cyclads made that thicken'd on my sight 

Soon as when Summer of his sister Spring 
Crushes and tears the rare enjewelling, 
And boasting " I have fairer things than these " 
Plashes amidst the billowy apple-trees 
His lusty hands, in gusts of scented wind 


Swirling out bloom till all the air is blind 

With rosy foam and pelting blossom and mists 

Of driving vermeil-rain ; and, as he lists, 

The dainty onyx-coronals deflowers, 

A glorious wanton ; all the wrecks in showers 

Crowd down upon a stream, and jostling thick 

With bubbles bugle-eyed, struggle and stick 

On tangled shoals that bar the brook a crowd 

Of filmy globes and rosy floating cloud : 

So those Mermaidens crowded to my rock, 

And thicken'd, like that drifted bloom, the flock 

Sun-flush'd, until it seem'd their father Sea 

Had gotten him a wreath of sweet Spring-broidery. 

Careless of me they sported : some would plash 
The languent smooth with dimpling drops, and flash 

Their filmy tails 

Some, diving merrily, downward drove, and gleam J d 
With arm and fin ; the argent bubbles stream 'd 
Airwards, disturb'd ; and the scarce troubled sea 
Gurgled, where they had sunk, melodiously. 
Others with fingers white would comb among 
The drenched hair of slabby weeds that swung 
Swimming, and languish'd green upon the deep 
Down that dank rock o'er which their lush long 

tresses weep. 

But most in a half-circle watch 'd the sun ; 
And a sweet sadness dwelt on everyone ; 
I knew not why, but know that sadness dwells 
On Mermaids, whether that they ring the knells 
Of seamen whelm 'd in chasms of the mid-main, 
As poets sing ; or that it is a pain 
To know the dusk depths of the ponderous sea, 
The miles profound of solid green, and be 

With loath'd cold fishes, far from man or what ; 
I know the sadness but the cause know not. 
Then they, thus rang'd, 'gan make full plaintively 
A piteous Siren sweetness on the sea, 
Withouten instrument, or conch, or bell, 
Or stretch'd cords tunable on turtle's shell ; 
Only with utterance of sweet breath they sung 
An antique chaunt and in unknown tongue. 
Now melting upward through the sloping scale 
Swell'd the sweet strain to a melodious wail ; 
Now ringing clarion-clear to whence it rose 
Slumber'd at last in one sweet, deep, heart-broken close. 

But when the sun had lapsed to Ocean, lo 
A stealthy wind crept round seeking to blow, 
Linger'd, then raised the washing waves and drench *d 
The floating blooms and with tide flowing quench'd 
The rosy isles : so that I stole away 
And gain'd thro' growing dusk the stirless bay ; 
White loom'd my rock, the water gurgling o'er, 
Whence oft I watch but see those Mermaids now 

no more. 


A Vision of ttie Mermaids (1862) 


But above all, the Mermaids and Men-fish seem to me the 
most strange fish in the waters. Some have supposed them 
to be devils or spirits in regard of their whooping noise 
that they make. For (as if they had power to raise extra- 
ordinarie storms and tempests) the winds blow, seas rage, 


and clouds drop, presently after they seem to call. Ques- 
tionlesse natures instinct works in them a quicker insight, 
and more sudden feeling and foresight of these things, 
then is in man ; upon which we see even in other creatures 
upon earth, as in fowls, who feeling the alteration of the 
aire in their feathers and quills, do plainly prognosticate 
a change of weather before it appeareth to us. And of 
these not onely the poets, but others also have written. 
The poets fein there were three Mermaids or Sirens ; in 
their upper parts like maidens, and in their lower parts 
fishes : which dwelling in the sea of Sicilie would allure 
sailors to them, and afterwards devoure them ; being first 
brought asleep with hearkening to their sweet singing. 
Their names (they say) were Parthenope, Lygia, and 
Leucasia ; wherefore sometime alluring women are said 
to be Sirens. JOHN SWAN 

Speculum Mundi (1635) 


These Nymphs trick'd up in tyers, the Sea-gods to delight : 
Of Corral of each kind, the blacke, the red, the white ; 
With many sundry shels, the Scallop large and faire ; 
The Cockle small and round, the Periwinkle spare, 
The Oyster, wherein oft the pearle is found to breed, 
The Mussell, which retaines that daintie Orient seed : 
In Chaines and Bracelets made, with linkes of sundry 

Some worne about their wa^ts, their necks, some on the 

Great store of Amber there, and Jeat they did not misse ; 


Their lips they sweetned had with costly Ambergris 

Now thus together com'n, they friendly doe devise. 
Some of light toyes, and some of matters grave and wise. 
But to breake off their speech, her reed when Syrinx sounds, 
Some cast themselves in Rings, and fell to Hornepipe 

rounds : 

They ceasing, as againe to others turnes it falls, 
They lustie Galiards tread, some other Jiggs, and Braules. 
This done, upon the Banke together being set, 
Proceeding in the cause, for which they first were met, 
In mightie Neptunes praise, these Sea-borne Virgins 

sing : . . . 

Where is there one to him that may compared be, 
That both the Poles at once continually doth see ; 
And Gyant-like with heaven as often maketh warres ; 
The Hands (in his power) as numberlesse as Starres, 
He washeth at his will, and with his mightie hands 
He makes the even shores oft mountainous with Sands : 
Whose creatures, which observe his wide Emperiall seat, 
Like his immeasured selfe, are infinite and greate. 

Thus ended they their Song, and off th' Assembly 

MICHAEL DRAYTON, Poly-Oibion. Song XX (1622) 


I have a boat here ... it is swift and beautiful, and 
appears quite a vessel. Williams is captain, and we drive 
along in this delightful bay in the evening wind under the 
summer moon until earth appears another world. Jane 
brings her guitar, and if the past and future could be 


obliterated, the present would content me so well that I 

could say with Faust to the passing moment, " Remain, 

thou art so beautiful." p B SHELLEY 

Letter to John Gisbome (Lend, 1822) 


BOSWELL : " Yet sailors are happy." JOHNSON : " They 
are happy as brutes are happy, with a piece of fresh meat, 
with the grossest sensuality." JAMES BOS WELL 

Life of Johnson (1791) 


The world below the brine. 

Forests at the bottom of the sea, the branches and leaves, 

Sea-lettuce, vast lichens, strange flowers and seeds, the 

thick tangle, openings, and pink turf, 
Different colors, pale gray and green, purple, white, and 

gold, the play of light through the water, 
Dumb swimmers there among the rocks, coral, gluten, 

grass, rushes, and the aliment of the swimmers, 
Sluggish existences grazing there suspended, or slowly 

crawling close to the bottom, 
The sperm-whale at the surface blowing air and spray, 

or disporting with his flukes, 
The leaden-eyed shark, the walrus, the turtle, the hairy 

sea-leopard, and the sting-ray. . . . WALT WHITMAN 

The World below the Brine. Sea-Drift (1860) 



Whereas Mathematicks improves all our Faculties, makes 
the Judgment stronger, and the Memory take in more. The 
Dull it teaches to perceive, and the Giddy to Attend. It 
distinguishes between True and False, and enures us to 
Difficulties : Besides, it gives us a thousand Advantages in 
Life. By this the Miser counts his Bags, and the Country- 
man knows his Times and Seasons. This gives our Can- 
non aim in War, and in Peace furnishes every Workman 
with his Tools. How many noble Engines has it invented ? 
In one the Wind labours for us, and another turns Bogs 
and Pools into firm Land. This builds us Houses, defends 
our Towns, and makes the Sea useful. Nor are its effects 
less wonderful than advantagious. The Mathematicks can 
do more things than any Poet e'er yet conceiv'd. He in 
a Map can contract Asia to a Span, and in a Glass shew 
a City from a Single House, and an Army from a Man. 
He can set the Heavens a thousand years forward, and call 
all the Stars by their Names. There is scarce anything 
without his reach ; He can gauge the Channel of the Sea, 
and weigh Saturn. He sees farthest into the Art and 
Skill of the Creator, and can write the best Comment 
on the Six Days Work. 


Be advis'd therefore to employ yourself rather in the 
improving of your Understandings than debauching of 
your Passions ... To my mind, to make a Dial is harder 
than to find a Motto to it, and a Prospect drawn in Lines 
pleasanter than one in Words. Instead of descriptions of 
cool Groves and flowry Gardens, you may inform yourself 
of the Situation and Extent of Empires, and while others 
are wandring in Elysian-fields and fancy'd Shades below, 
you may raise your Thoughts to the Infinity of Space 
above, and visit all those Worlds that shine upon us 
here . . . and mind little in Venus but her periodic Motion. 


Trans. John Savage (1696) 


Archimedes had such a great minde, and was so profoundly 
learned, having hidden in him the onely treasure and 
secrets of Geometricall inventions : as he would never set 
forth any booke how to make all these warlicke engynes, 
which wanne him at that time the fame and glory, not of 
mans knowledge, but rather of divine wisedom. But he 
esteminge all kinde of handy craft and invention to make 
engines, and generally all maner of sciences bringing 
common commodity by the use of them, to be but vyle, 
beggarly, and mercenary drosse : employed his witte and 
study onely to write thinges, the beawty and subtiltie 
whereof were not mingled any thinge at all with necessi- 
tie. For all that he hath written, are geometricall pro- 
posicions, which are without comparison of any other 
writings whatsoever : bicause the subject whereof they 


treate, doth appeare by demonstration, the matter giving 
them the grace and the greatnes, and the demonstration 
proving it so exquisitely, with wonderfull reason and facil- 
itie . . . And therefore that me thinks is like enough to be 
true, which they write of him ; that he was so ravished and 
dronke with the swete intysements of this Sirene, which as 
it were lay continually with him. 


Lives (c. 100) 

Trans. Sir Thomas North (1572) 


He [Hobbes] was 40 yeares old before he looked on geo- 
metry ; which happened accidentally. Being in a gentle- 
man's library . . . Euclid's Elements lay open, and 'twas 

the 47 El. libri I. He read the proposition. " By G " 

sayd he, " this is impossible ! " So he reads the demonstra- 
tion of it, which referred him back to such a proposition ; 
which proposition he read. That referred him back to 
another, which he also read. Et sic deinceps, that at last 
he was demonstratively convinced of that trueth. This 
made him in love with geometry. 


Brief Lives : Thomas Hobbes (c. 1680) 




So hand in hand they passd, the lovliest pair 
That ever since in loves imbraces met, 
Adam the goodliest man of men since born 
His Sons, the fairest of her Daughters Eve. 
Under a tuft of shade that on a green 
Stood whispering soft, by a fresh Fountain side 
They sat them down, and after no more toil 
Of thir sweet Gardning labour then suffic'd 
To recommend coole Zephyr, and made ease 
More easie, wholsom thirst and appetite 
More grateful, to thir Supper Fruits they fell, 
Nectarine Fruits, which the compliant boughes 
Yeilded them, side-long as they sat recline 
On the soft downie Bank damaskt with flours : 
The savourie pulp they chew, and in the rinde 
Still as they thirsted scoop the brimming stream 
Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles 
Wanted, nor youthful dalliance as beseems 
Fair couple, linkt in happie nuptial League, 
Alone as they. About them frisking playd 
All Beasts of th'Earth, since wilde, and of all chase 
In Wood or Wilderness, Forrest or Den ; 

Sporting the Lion rampd, and in his paw 
DandPd the Kid ; Bears, Tygers, Ounces, Pards 
Gambold before them, th'unwieldy Elephant 
To make them mirth us'd all his might, and 

His lithe Proboscis ; 


Paradise Lost, Book IV (1667) 


BELINDA : Yes : You fluttering Men of the Mode have 
made Marriage a meer French dish. . . . You are so curious 
in the Preparation, that is, your Courtship, one wou'd 
rhink you meant a noble Entertainment But when we 
come to feed, 'tis all Froth, and poor, but in show Nay, 
often, only Remains, which have been I know not how 
many times warm'd for other Company, and at last serv'd 
up cold to the Wife. 

BELLMOUR : But you timorous Virgins form a dreadful 
Chimaera of a Husband, as of a Creature contrary to that 
soft, pliant, easie thing, a Lover ; so guess at Plagues in 
Matromony, in Opposition to the Pleasures of Courtship. 
Alas ! Courtship to Marriage is but as the Musick in the 
Play-Housc, 'till the Curtain's drawn ; but that once up, 
then opens the Scene of Pleasure. 

BELINDA : Oh, foh no : Rather, Courtship to Marriage, 
as a very witty Prologue to a very dull Play. 


The Old Batchelor (1693) 


At noon I home to dinner with my poor wife, with whom 
now-a-days I enjoy great pleasure in her company and 
learning of Arithmetique. SAMUEL PEPYS 

Diary (Dec. i, 1663) 


At last an hospitable House they found, 

A homely Shed ; the Roof, not far from Ground, 

Was thatch'd with Reeds and Straw, together bound. 

There Baucis and Philemon liv'd, and there 

Had liv'd long marry'd, and a happy Pair : 

Now old in Love, though little was their Store, . . . 

Command was none, where equal Love was paid, 

Or rather both commanded, both obey'd . . . 

Then thus the Sire of Gods, with Looks serene : 
Speak thy Desire, thou only Just of Men ; 
And thou, O Woman, only worthy found 
To be with such a Man in Marriage bound. 

A-while they whisper ; then, to Jove address'd, 
Philemon thus prefers their joint Request : . . . 
And since not any Action of our Life 
Has been polluted with Domestick Strife ; 
We beg one Hour of Death, that neither she 
With Widow's Tears may live to bury me, 
Nor weeping I, with wither'd Arms, may bear 
My breathless Baucis to the Sepulcher. 

The Godheads sign their Suit. They run the Race 

In the same Tenour all th' appointed Space : 

Then, when their Hour was come, while they relate 

These past Adventures at the Temple Gate, 

Old Baucis is by old Philemon seen 

Sprouting with sudden Leaves of spritely green : 

Old Baucis look'd where old Philemon stood. 

And saw his lengthened Arms a sprouting Wood : 

New Roots their fasten'd Feet begin to bind, 

Their Bodies stiffen in a rising Rind : 

Then, ere the Bark above their Shoulders grew, 

They give and take at once their last Adieu. 

At once. Farewell, O faithful Spouse, they said : 

At once th' incroaching Rinds their closing Lips invade. 

Ev'n yet, an ancient Tyranean shows 

A spreading Oak, that near a Linden grows ; 

The Neighbourhood confirm the Prodigy, 

Grave Men, nor vain of Tongue, nor like to lye. 

I saw myself the Garlands on their Boughs, 

And Tablets hung for Gifts of granted Vows. 

And, off 'ring fresher up, with pious Pray'r, 

The Good, said I, are God's peculiar Care, 

And such as honour Heav'n, shall heav'nly Honour 


OVID, Metamorphoses (c. 5 B.C.) 

Trans. John Dry den (1700) 


There is no happy life 
But in a wife 

The Comforts are so sweete 
When they doe meete 

Tis plenty Peace a Calme 

Like Droping Balme 

Loves wether is so fayre 

Perfumed Aire 

Each work such pleasure brings 

Like soft toucht strings 

Loves Passion moves the harte 

On Eyther parte 

Such harmony together 

So pleasd in Eyther 

No discords. Concords still 

Seald with one will 

By love, God, man, made one 

Yett not alone 

Like Stamps of Kinge, and Queene 

Itt may be scene 

Two figures but one Coyne 

So they doe Joyne 

Onely they not Imbrase 

We face to face. 


The Phanseys : Loves Matremony (c. 1645) 


I shou'd have persuaded you to Marriage, but to deal 
ingeniously, I am a little out of Arguments that way at 
present : 'Tis honourable, there's no question on't ; but 
what more, in good Faith, I cannot readily tell. 


Letter to a Cousin (1638) 


Which if it were so needfull before the fall, when man 
was much more perfect in himselfe, how much more is 
it needfull now against all the sorrows and casualties of life 
to have an intimate and speaking help, a ready and reviv- 
ing associate in marriage : whereof who misses by chanc- 
ing on a mute and spiritles mate, remains more alone than 
before But this pure and more inbred desire of joyning 
to it selfe in conjugall fellowship a fit conversing soul 
(which desire is properly call'd love) is stronger than 
death, as the spouse of Christ thought, many waters can- 
not quench it^ neither can the floods drown it. This is that 
rationall burning that marriage is to remedy, . . . which 
how can he asswage who by mis-hap hath met the most 
unmeetest and unsutable mind ? . . . 

If he be such as hath spent his youth unblamably, and 
layd up his chiefest earthly comforts in the enjoyment of a 
contented marriage, . . . when he shall find himselfe bound 
fast to an uncomplying discord of nature, or, as it oft 
happens, to an image of earth and fleam, with whom he 
lookt to be the co-partner of a sweet and gladsome society, 
and sees withall that his bondage is now inevitable, though 
he be almost the strongest Christian, he will be ready to 
despair in vertue, and mutin against divine providence : and 
this doubtless is the reason of those lapses and that melan- 
choly despair which we see in many wedded persons, 
though they understand it not, or pretend other causes. . . . 

Did he open so to us this hazardous and accidental doore 
of mariage to shut upon us like the gate of death without 
retracting or returning, without permitting to change 
the worst, most insupportable, most unchristian mis- 
chance of mariage for all the mischiefes and sorrows that 


can ensue, being an ordinance which was especially giv'n 
as a cordiall and exhilarating cup of solace the better to 
beare our other crosses and afflictions ? . . . . 

So likewise the Apostle witnesseth, . . . that in mariage 
God hath calVd us to peace. The rest whom either dispro- 
portion or deadnesse of spirit, or something distastefull 
and averse in the immutable bent of nature, renders un- 
conjugall,error may have joyn'd,but God never joyn'd 

For what kind of matrimony can that remain to be, 
what one dutie between such can be perform'd as it 
should be from the heart, when their thoughts and spirits 
flie asunder as farre as heaven from hell : . . . 

The same may be said touching those persons who 
being of a pensive nature and cours of life, have sum'd up 
all their solace in that free and lightsome conversation 
which God and man intends in marriage : whereof when 
they see themselves depriv'd by meeting an unsociable 
consort, they oft-times resent one anothers mistake so 
deeply, that long it is not ere griefe end one of them. . . . 


Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce (1643) 


Austin contends that manly friendship in all other regards 
had bin a more becoming solace for Adam, than to spend 
so many secret years in an empty world with one woman. 
But our Writers deservedly reject this crabbed opinion ; 
and defend that there is a peculiar comfort in the maried 
state besides the genial bed, which no other society 
affords. . . . We cannot alwayes be contemplative, or 
pragmaticall abroad, but have need of som delightfull 


intermissions, wherin the enlarg'd soul may leav off a 
while her severe schooling ; and like a glad youth in wand- 
ring vacancy, may keep her holidaies to joy and harmles 
pastime : which as she cannot well doe without company, 
so in no company so well as where the different sexe in 
most resembling unlikeness, and most unlike resemblance 
cannot but please best. . . . Wisest Salomon among his 
gravest Proverbs countenances a kinde of ravishment and 
erring fondnes in the entertainment of wedded leisures ; 
and in the Song of Songs, which is generally beleev'd, even 
in the j oiliest expressions to figure the spousals of the 
Church with Christ, sings of a thousand raptures between 
those two lovely ones farre on the hither side of carnall 
enjoyment. By these instances and more which might be 
brought we may imagine how indulgently God provided 
against man's loneliness. . . . But God is no deceitfull 
giver, to bestow that on us for a remedy of loneliness, 
which if it bring not a sociable minde as well as a con- 
junctive body, leavs us no lesse alone than before ; and 
if it bring a minde perpetually avers and disagreeable, 
betraies us to a wors condition than the most deserted 
lonelines. . . . 

Therefore shall a man leav his father and his mother, and 
shall cleav unto his wife ; and they shall be one flesh. 

This vcrs, ... is the great knot tier, . . . this that greisly 
Porter, who having drawn men and wisest men by subtle 
allurement within the train of an unhappy matrimony, 
claps the dungeon gate upon them, as irrecoverable as the 
grave. But if we view him well, and hear him with not too 
hasty and prejudicant ears, we shall finde no such terror 
in him. . . . Cleav to a wife, but let her bee a wife, let her 
be a meet help, a solace, not a nothing, not an adversary, 
not a desertrice ; . . . Wee know that flesh can neither 


joyn, nor keep together two bodies of it self; what is it 
then, must make them one flesh, but likenes, but fitnes 
of mind and disposition, which may breed the Spirit of 
concord, and union between them ? If that be not in the 
nature of either, and that there has bin a remediles mis- 
take, as vain wee goe about to compell them into one flesh, 
as if wee undertook to weav a garment of drie sand. . . . 

JOHN MILTON, Tetrachordon (1645) 


DORINDA : Mine offer'd Marriage. 
MRS SULLEN : O lard I D'ye call that a moving thing ? 
DOR. : The sharpest Arrow in his Quiver, my dear Sister. 
... If I marry my Lord Aimwell, there will be Title, Place 
and Precedence, the Park, the Play, and the drawing- 
room, Splendor, Equipage, Noise, and Flambeaux. Hey, 
my Lady AimweWs Servants there Lights, Lights to 
the Stairs My Lady AimweWs Coach put forward 
Stand by, make room for her Ladyship Are not these 
things moving ? 

GEORGE FARQUHAR, The Beaux' Stratagem (1707) 


MRS. SULLEN : Pray, Spouse, what did you marry for ? 
SULLEN : To get an Heir to my Estate. 
SIR CHARLES : And have you succeeded ? 
SUL. : No. 


ARCHER : The Condition fails of his side. Pray, Madam, 

what did you marry for ? 

MRS SUL. : To support the Weakness of my Sex by the 

Strength of his, and to enjoy the Pleasures of an agreeable 


SIR CH. : Are your Expectations answer 'd ? 

MRS SUL. : No. 

SIR CH. : What are the Bars to your mutual Contentment ? 

MRS SUL. : In the first place, I can't drink Ale with him. 

SUL. : Nor can I drink Tea with her. 

MRS SUL. : I can't hunt with you. 

SUL. : Nor can I dance with you. 

MRS SUL. : I hate Cocking and Racing. 

SUL. : And I abhor Ombre and Piquet. 

MRS SUL. : Your Silence is intollerable. 

SUL. : Your Prating is worse. 

MRS SUL. : Have we not been a perpetual Offence to each 

other A gnawing Vulture at the Heart ? 

SUL. : A frightful Goblin to the Sight. 

MRS SUL. : A Porcupine to the Feeling. 

SUL. : Perpetual Wormwood to the Taste. 

MRS. SUL. : Is there on Earth a thing we cou'd agree in ? 

SUL. : Yes To part. 

MRS. SUL. : With all my Heart. Ibid. 


SIR OLIVER : Well, a pox of this tying man and woman 
together, for better, for worse ! SIR GEOR GE ETHEREGE 

She wou'd if she cou'd (1668) 


LYDIA : But if I cou'd be desperate, now, and give you up 
my liberty, cou'd you find in your heart to quit all other 
engagements, and voluntrarily turn your self over to one 
woman, and she a Wife too ? Cou'd you away with the 
insufferable bondage of Matrimony ? 
RANGER : You talk of Matrimony as irreverently as my 

Lady Flippant. The bondage of Matrimony, no 

The end of Marriage now is Liberty -, 
And two are bound to set each other free. 


Love in a Wood (1671) 


PRUE : By that time, he'll be your Husband, if your 
Father come to-night. 

HIPPOLITA : Or if I provide no not myself with another 
in the meantime ! For Fathers seldom chuse well, and I 
will no more take my Father's choice in a Husband than 
I would in a Gown or a Suit of Knots : so that if that 
Cousin of mine were not an ill-contrived Frekeish-fool, 
in being my Father's choice, I shou'd hate him. 


The Gentleman Dancing- Master (1672) 


Lord L. bowed, delighted ; and if he did, his good Lady, 
you may be sure, partook of her Lord's delight. They 


are a happy pair ! They want not sense ; they have both 
fine understandings ! But, O ! my Lucy, they are not the 
striking, dazzling qualities in men and women, that make 
happy. Good sense, and solid judgment, a natural com- 
placency of temper, a desire of obliging, and an easiness to 
be obliged, procure the silent, the serene happiness, to 
which the fluttering, tumultuous, impetuous fervors of 
passion can never contribute. Nothing violent can be 


Sir Charles Grandison (1754) 


SIR CHARLES : My friend Beauchamp deserves the best 
of women. You are excellent in my eyes ; but I have 
known two very worthy persons, who, taken separately, 
have been admired by every one who knew them, and who 
admired each other before marriage, yet not happy in it. 
Miss GRANDISON : Is it possible ? To what could their un- 
happiness be owing ? Both, I suppose, continuing good ? 
SIR C. : To a hundred almost nameless reasons Too 
little consideration on one side ; too much on the other : 
Diversions different : Too much abroad the man Too 
much at home will sometimes have the same effect : 
Acquaintances approved by the one Disapproved by the 
other : One liking the town ; the other the country : Or 
either preferring town or country in different humours, 
or at different times of the year. Human nature, Charlotte. 
Miss G. : No more, I beseech you, Brother Why this 


human nature, I believe, is a very vile thing ! I think, 
Lady L., I won't marry at all. 

SIR C. : Some such trifles, as these I have enumerated, 
will be likely to make you, Charlotte, with all your 
excellencies, not so happy as I wish you to be. If you 
cannot have a man of whose understanding you have a 
higher opinion than you have of your own, you should 
think of one who is likely to allow to yours a superio- 
rity. . . . And now the question recurs, What shall I 
say to Lord G ? What to Sir Walter ? 

Miss G. : Why, I think you must make my compliments to 
Sir Walter, if you will be so good ; and, after the example 
of my Sister Harriet to the men she sends a grazing, very 
civilly tell him, he may break his heart as soon as he 
pleases ; for that I cannot be his. 

SIR C. : Strange girl ! But I wish not to lower this lively 
spirit You will put your determination into English. 

Miss G. : In plain English, then, I can by no means think 
of encouraging the address of Sir Walter Watkins. 
SIR C. : Well, and what shall I say to Lord G, ? ... Can 
you, do you think, love Lord G. ? 

Miss G. : Love him ! love Lord G. ? what a question is 
that ! Why no, I verily believe, that I can't say that. 

SIR C. : Can you esteem him ? 

Miss G. : Esteem ! Why that's a quaint word, tho' a 
female one. I believe if I were to marry the honest man, I 
could be civil to him, if he would be very complaisant, 
very observant, and all that. . . . 

SIR C. : . . . But if you cannot be more than civil, and if 
is to be very observant, you'll make it your agreement he 
with him, before you meet him at the altar, that he,shall 


subscribe to the woman's part of the vow, and that you 
shall answer to the man's. 

Miss G. : A good thought, I believe ! I'll consider of it. 
If I find, in courtship, the man will bear it, I may make 
the proposal. Yet I don't know, but it will be as well to 
suppose the vow changed, without conditioning for it, as 
other good women do ; and act accordingly. One would 
not begin with a singularity, for fear of putting the parson 
out. I heard an excellent Lady once advice a good wife, 
who, however, very little wanted it, to give the man a 
hearing, and never do anything that he would wish to be 
done, except she chose to do it. If the man loves quiet, 
he'll be glad to compound. 


Sir Charles Grandison (1754) 


Never man had a greater passion for a woman, nor a more 
honourable esteeme of a wife, yet he was not uxurious, 
nor remitted not that just lule which it was her honor to 
obey, but manag'd th' reines of governement with such 
prudence and affection that she who would not delight in 
such an honourable and advantageable subjection, must 
have wanted a reasonable soule : he govern'd by perswa- 
sion, which he never employ'd but to things honorable 
and profitable for herself: He lov'd her soule and her 
honor more than her outside, and yet he had even for her 
person a constant indulgence, exceeding the common 
temporary passions of the most uxurious fooles : if he 
esteem'd her att a higher rate than she in herselfe could 


have deserv'd, he was the author of that vertue he doated 
on, while she only reflected his own glories upon him ; all 
that she was, was him, while he was here, and all that she is 
now at best is but his pale shade. So liberall was he to her, 
and of so generous a temper, that he hated the mention of 
sever'd purses ; his estate being so much at her dispose, 
that he never would receive an account of aniething she 
expended ; so constant was he in his love, that when she 
ceas'd to be young and lovely, he began to shew most 
fondnesse ; he lov'd her at such a kind and generous rate 
as words cannot expresse ; yet even this, which was the 
highest love he or anie man could have, was yet bounded 
by a superior, he lov'd her in the Lord as his fellow 
creature, not his idoll, but in such a manner as show'd 
that an affection, bounded in the just rules of duty, far 
exceeds every way all the irregular passions in the world. 
He lov'd God above her, and all the other dear pledges of 
his heart, and at his command, and for his glorie cheare- 
fully resign'd them. He was as kinde a father, as deare a 
brother, as good a master, and as faithful a friend as the 
world had. 


To her Children concerning their Father (c. 1665) 


SILVIA : But do you intend to marry me ? 
HEARTWELL : That a Fool should ask such a malicious 
question ! Death, I shall be drawn in, before I know where 
I am . . . Marry you ? no, no, I'll love you. 
SILVIA : Nay, but if you love me, you must marry me ; 


what don't I know my Father lov'd my Mother, and was ( 

married to her ? 

HEART. : Ay, ay, in old Days, People married where they 

lov'd ; but that Fashion is chang'd, Child. 

SIL. : Never tell me that, for I know it is not chang'd 

by my self ; for I love you, and would marry you. . . . 

HEART. : Damn her, let her go, and a good riddance Yet 

so much Tenderness and Beauty and Honesty together is 

a Jewel Stay, Silvia But then to marry Why every 

Man plays the Fool once in his Life : But to marry is 

playing the Fool all one's Life long. . . . Well, farewel 

then if I can get out of Sight I may get the better of 


SIL. : Well good buy. (Turns and Weeps.} 

HEART. : Ha ' Nay come, we'll kiss at parting ... By 

Heav'n, her kiss is sweeter than Liberty I will marry 

thee There thou hast don't. All my Resolves melted in 

that Kiss one more. 

SIL. : But when ? 

HEART. : I'm impatient till it be done ; I will not give 

myself Liberty to think, lest I should cool I will about a 

Licence straight. . . . One Kiss more to confirm me mad ; 


The Old Batchelor (1693) 


But the Grand affair of your life will be to gain and pre- 
serve the Freindship and Esteem of your Husband. You 
are married to a Man of good education and learning, of 


an excellent understanding, and an exact taste. It is true, 
and it is happy for you, that these Qualities in him are 
adorned with great Modesty, a most amiable Sweetness of 
Temper, and an unusual disposition to Sobriety and Virtue : 
But neither Good-Nature nor Virtue will suffer him to es- 
teem you against his Judgment ; and although he is not 
capable of using you ill, yet you will in time grow a thing 
indifferent, and perhaps contemptible ; unless you can 
supply the loss of Youth and Beauty with more durable 
Qualities. You have but a very few years to be young and 
handsome in the eyes of the World ; and as few months to 
be so, in the eyes of a Husband, who is not a Fool ; for I 
hope you do not still dream of Charms and Raptures, 
which Marriage ever did, and ever will, put a sudden end 
to. Besides, yours was a match of Prudence and common 
good-liking, without any mixture of that ridiculous Pas- 
sion which has no Being but in Play-Books and Romances. 
You must therefore use all endeavours to attain to 
some degree of those Accomplishments which your 
Husband most values in other People, and for which he is 
most valued himself. You must improven your Mind. . . . 
You must get a collection of History and Travels which I 
will recommend to you, and spend some hours every day 
in reading them, and making extracts from them if your 
Memory be weak. You must invite Persons of knowledge 
and understanding to an acquaintance with you, by whose 
Conversation you may learn to correct your Taste and 
Judgement ; and when you can bring yourself to compre- 
hend and relish the good Sense of others, you will arrive in 
time to think rightly yourself, and to become a Reasonable 
and Agreeable Companion. This must produce in your 
Husband a true Rational Love and Esteem for you, which 
old Age will not diminish. He will have a regard for your 


Judgment and Opinion in matters of the greatest Weight ; 
you will be able to entertain each other without a Third 
Person to releive you by finding Discourse. The endow- 
ments of your Mind will even make your Person more 
agreeable to him ; and when you are alone, your Time will 
not lie heavy upon your hands for want of some trifling 
Amusement. . . . 

I desire you will keep this Letter in your Cabinet, and 
often examine impartially your whole Conduct by it : And 
so God bless you, and make you a fair Example to your 
Sex, and a perpetual Comfort to your Husband and your 

A Letter to a Very Young Lady (1727) 


How delightful it is when the mind of the female is so 
happily disposed, and so richly cultivated, as to participate 
in the literary avocations of her husband ! It is then truly 
that the intercourse of the sexes becomes the most refined 
pleasure. What delight, for instance, must the great 
Budaeus have tasted. . . . His wife left him nothing to 
desire . . . she brought him the books he required to his 
desk ; she collated passages, and transcribed quotations ; 
the same . . . ardour for literature eminently appeared in 
these two fortunate persons. . . . She was sedulous to 
animate him when he languished. Ever at his side, and ever 
assiduous ; ever with some useful book in her hand. . . . 
Yet she did not neglect the education of eleven children. 


Curiosities of Literature (1791-1823) 


The constant Cantharus, 
Who, ever faithful to his dearest Spouse, 
In Nuptiall Duties spending all his life, 
Loves never other than his onely wife. 
But, for her love, the Mullet hath no Peer ; 
For, if the Fisher have surpriz'd her Pheer, 
As mad with wo to shore she followeth, 
Prest to consort him both in life and death. 
As yerst those famous, loving Thracian Dames 
That leapt alive into the funerall flames 
Of their dead Husbands ; who deceast and gone, 
Those loyall Wives hated to live alone. 


Divine Weekes and Workes (1592) 
Trans, from Guillaume Du Bartas 


I knew your new brother-in-law at school, but have not 
seen him since. But your sister was in love, and must conse- 
quently be happy to have him. Yet I own, I cannot much 
felicitate anybody that marries for love. It is bad enough 
to marry ; but to marry where one loves is ten times worse. 
It is so charming at first, that the decay of inclination 
renders it infinitely more disagreeable afterwards. Your 
sister has a thousand merits ; but they don't count : but 
then she has good sense enough to make her happy, if 
her merit cannot make him so. 

HORACE WALPOLE, Letter to Horace Mann (1743) 


Marriage is not commonly unhappy, otherwise than as life 
is unhappy. SAMUEL JOHNSON, Rambler (1750-52) 


MR SOLUS : Now I think marriage is an excellent remedy 
for the spleen. I have known a Gentleman at a feast 
receive an affront, disguise his rage, step home, vent it all 
upon his wife, return to his companions, and be as good 
company as if nothing had happened. 

MRS INCHBALD, Every one has his fault (1793) 



From the dull confines of the drooping West, 
To see the day spring from the pregnant East, 
Ravisht in spirit, I come, nay more, I flie 
To thee, blest place of my Nativitie ! 
Thus, thus with hallowed foot I touch the ground, 
O fruitfull Genius ! that bestowest here 
An everlasting plenty, yeere by yeere. 

Place \ O People ! Manners ! fram'd to please 
All Nations, Customes, Kindreds, Languages ! 

1 am a free-born Roman ; suffer then, 
That I amongst you live a Citizen. 

London my home is ; though by hard fate sent 
Into a long and irksome banishment ; 
Yet since caPd back ; henceforward let me be, 
O native countrye, repossest by thee ! 
For, rather than Fie to the West return, 
Fie beg of thee first here to have mine Urn. 
Weak I am grown, and must in short time fall ; 
Give thou my sacred Reliques Buriall. 


His returne to London. Hesperides (1648) 


The City, the City, my Rufus stay in it and live in its 
light ! Sojourning elsewhere, is, as I have declared from 
my youth up, obscure and paltry to those whose activities 
can make them illustrious in Rome. CICERO 

Letter to M. Caelius Rufus (50 B.C.) 


Come to Rome. It is a scene by which expression is over- 
powered ; which words cannot convey. . . . 

What shall I say of the modern city ? Rome is yet the 
capital of the world. It is a city of palaces and temples more 
glorious than those which any other city contains, and of 


ruins more glorious than they. Seen from any of the emin- 
ences that surround it, it exhibits domes beyond domes, 
and palaces, and colonnades interminably, even to the 
horizon ; interspersed with patches of desert, and mighty 
ruins which stand girt by their own desolation, in the 
midst of the fanes of living religions, and the habitations 
of living men, in sublime loneliness. p B SH ELLEY 

Letter to T. L. Peacock (1819) 


In that place, there is leisure now, and the garrulous wars 
of the wordy forum give place to the games, in rapid 
succession. Now there is sport with horses, now play with 
light arms, now with the ball, now with the round hoop 
that swiftly turns ; now the young men, stained with the 
slippery oil, lave tired limbs in the water of Virgo. The 
stage is lively, applause is hot with zeal and partisanship, 
and three theatres resound instead of three fora. O four 
times happy, happy more times than one may count, is 
he to whom is permitted the enjoyment of the unforbidden 
city ! . . . OVID 

Tristia. III. 12 (9-10 A.D.) 


Since I have been absent from you, thrust away to the 
Scythian shores, the rising of the Pleiades has brought 
four autumns. Do not think it is the conveniences of city 


life which Naso seeks and yet nevertheless he does seek 
them. For sometimes I recall you to my mind, my sweet 
friends, at other times my dear wife and daughter : and 
from my house I go out once more to the places of the 
lovely city, and my mind beholds them all with its own 
eyes. Now the fora, now the temples, now the marble- 
cased theatres, now every colonnade with its levelled 
ground, come into my thoughts ; now the grass of the 
Campus that looks on the beautiful gardens, and the 
pools, and the moats, and the stream Virgo. 

OVID, Ex Ponto. I. 8 (12-13 A.D.) 


Behold the populous City in her pride 
Yeelds thee more choice than all the world beside : 
More eares of ripe Corne grows not in the fields, 
Nor half so many boughs the Forrest yeelds ; 
So many greene leaves grow not in the Woods, 
Nor swimme so many fish in the salt floods, 
So many Starres in heaven you cannot see, 
As here be pretty wenches, Rome, in thee. 

OVID, Ars Amatoria (c. 2 B.C.) 
Trans. Wye Saltonstall (1639) 


MASCARILLE : Well, ladies, what do you say of Paris ? 
MADELON : Alas ! what can we say of it ? It would be 
against all reason not to confess that Paris is the great 


bureau of marvels, the centre of good taste, of wit, and 

of gallantry. 

MASCARILLE : As for me, I hold that outside Paris there 

is no well-being for genteel people. 

CATHOS : It's an incontestable truth. 

MADELON : It's rather dirty, but we have the chair. 

Les Precieuses Ridicules (1659) 


My Dearest Friend, 

And do I really address you from Paris ? Am I at this 
moment a denizen of the far-famed queen of arts and arms 
the centre of all that is refined and estimable ? 

The glass of fashion and the mould of form, 
The observed of all observers ! 

I am dizzy with the thought ! . . . 

Only think how charming the way of life here ! For 
every meal, separate establishments, and all fitted up with 
that united elegance and splendour which none but Paris- 
ians understand. Here is the Cafe des Milles Colonnes, with 
its flashing radiance of gold and glass ! its host of waiters, 
swift and silent as attendant spirits ! . . . and then the 
company ! ... Of these enchanted spots there are many 
hundreds, and also of Restaurateurs, where luxury assumes 
her most seductive form, and eating is no longer a vulgar 
appetite. Fancy your friend choosing her dinner from a 
carte of two hundred and fifty dishes ! And then their names 
so different from your low plough-boy English ones 


<c boiled beef and greens " ! " roast goose and apple sauce " ! 
horrid ! I am sure after poulet nouveau en fricassee 
pigeons de voliere aux points d'asperges omelette soufflee and 
beignets d'abricot, I shall never bear to pronounce, much 
less partake of, the gross aliments of our own country. 

But the Louvre, my dear creature, with its " Parian 
stairs " and names imperial the " Hall of the Em- 
perors " ; the " Hall of the Seasons " ; the " Hall of the 
Romans." Don't you feel your mind elevated while pro- 
nouncing them ? And then the interminable gallery itself, 
with its imperishable records of artists now in the cold 
grave ! I am bewildered like JEve among the flowers of 
Paradise. . . . 

But to return to Paris, chere, chere Paris ! I have been 
here but a fortnight, but I already feel my mind pro- 
digiously expanded. . . . What, my dear friend, can that 
person know of elegance, who has never seen the Palais 
Royal with its boutiques and bijouterie ? 


Phantasmagoria (1825) 


I have crept on upon time from day to day here ; fond of 
Florence to a degree : 'tis infinitely the most agreeable of 
all the places I have seen since London : that you know 
one loves, right or wrong, as one does one's nurse. Our 
little Arno is not boated and swelling like the Thames, but 
'tis vastly pretty, and, I don't know how, being Italian, 
has something visionary and poetical in its stream. Then 
One's unwilling to leave the gallery, and but in short, 


LC'S unwilling to get into a post-chaise. I am as surfeited 
th mountains and inns, as if I had eat them. 

HORACE WALPOLE, Letter to Henry Conway (1740) 


ity of orgies, walks and joys, 

ity whom I that have lived and sung in your midst will 

one day make you illustrious, 
ot the pageants of you, not your shifting tableaux, your 

spectacles, repay me, 
ot the interminable rows of your houses, nor the ships 

at the wharves, 
or the processions in the street, nor the bright windows 

with goods in them, 
or to converse with learn'd persons, or bear my share in 

the soiree or feast ; 
ot those, but as I pass, O Manhattan, your frequent 

and swift flash of eyes offering me love, 
ffering response to my own these repay me, 
overs, continual lovers, only repay me. ^ 

WALT WHITMAN, City of Orgies (1855) 


I come from the city of Boston, 
The home of the bean and the cod, 
Where Cabots speak only to Lowells, 
And Lowells speak only to God. 

SAMUEL C. BUSHNELL (l9th Cent.) 



MRS SULLEN : London., dear London, is the place for 
managing and breaking a Husband. 
DORINDA : And has not a Husband the same opportunities 
there for humbling a Wife ? 

MRS SUL : No, no. Child, 'tis a standing Maxim in Con- 
jugal Discipline, that when a Man wou'd enslave his 
Wife, he hurries her into the Country ; and when a Lady 
wou'd be arbitrary with her Husband, she wheedles her 
Booby up to Town. A Man dare not play the Tyrant 
in London, because there are so many Examples to en- 
courage the Subject to rebel. O Dorinda, Dorinda \ a fine 
Woman may do any thing in London : O' my Conscience, 
she may raise an Army of Forty thousand Men. 

The Beaux' Stratagem (1707) 


COURT ALL : Only my joy to see you, Sir Oliver, and to 
welcome you to Town. 

SIR OLIVER : Methinks, indeed, I have been an age absent, 
but I intend to redeem the time : and how and how stand 
Affairs, prithee now ? is the Wine good ? are the Women 
kind ? Well, faith, a man had better be a vagabond in this 
Town, than a Justice of Peace in the Country : I was e'ne 
grown a Sot for want of Gentlemanlike recreations. 


She wou'd if she cou'd (1668) 


more than mortal! man, that did this Towne begin ! 
Whose knowledge found the plot, so fit to set it in. 
What God, or heavenly power was harbourd in thy 

From whom with such successe thy labours should be 

blest ? 

Built on a rising Bank, within a Vale to stand, SSitSS? 

And for thy healthfull soyle, chose gravell niixt with London - 

sand. . . . 

And to the North and South, upon an equall reach, 
Two Hils their even Banks do somewhat seeme to stretch, 
Those two extreamer Winds from hurting it to let ; 
And only levell lies, upon the Rise and Set. 
Of all this goodly Ile^ where breathes most cheerefull 


And every way there-to the wayes most smooth and faire ; 
As in the fittest place, by man that could be thought, 
To which by Land, or Sea, provision might be brought. 
And such a Road for Ships scarce all the world commands, 
As is the goodly Tames, neer where Brute's City stands. 
Nor any Haven lies to which is more resort, 
Commodities to bring, as also to transport. 


Poly-Olbion. Song XVI (1613) 


Streets, streets, streets, markets, theatres, churches, 
Covent Gardens, shops sparkling with pretty faces of 


industrious milliners, neat sempstresses, ladies cheapen- 
ing, gentlemen behind counters lying, authors in the 
street with spectacles, George Dyers (you may know 
them by their gait), lamps lit at night, pastrycooks' and 
silversmiths' shops, beautiful Quakers of Pentonville, 
noise of coaches, drowsy cry of watchmen at night, with 
bucks reeling home drunk ; if you happen to wake at 
midnight, cries of " Fire ! " and " Stop thief! " inns of 
court, with their learned air, and halls, and butteries, 
just like Cambridge colleges ; old book-stalls, " Jeremy 
Taylors," " Burtons on Melancholy," and " Religio 
Medicis " on every stall. These are thy pleasures, O 
London, with thy many sins. O City, abounding in w . . . , 
for these may Keswick and her giant brood go hang ! 


Letter to Thomas Manning (1800) 


Had I but plenty of money, money enough and to spare. 
The house for me, no doubt, were a house in the city- 
square ; 

Ah, such a life, such a life, as one leads at the window 
there ; 

Something to see, by Bacchus, something to hear, at 

least ! 

There, the whole day long, one's life is a perfect feast ; 
While up at a villa one lives, I maintain it, no more than a 

beast. . . . 


But the city, oh the city the square with the houses ! 

Why ? . . . 
You watch who crosses and gossips, who saunters, who 

hurries by ; 
Green blinds, as a matter of course, to draw when the sun 

gets high ; 
And the shops with fanciful signs which are painted 

properly. . . . 

Is it ever hot in the square ? There's a fountain to spout 
and splash ! 

In the shade it sings and springs ; in the shine such foam- 
bows flash 

On the horses with curling fish-tails, that prance and 
paddle and pash 

Round the lady atop in her conch fifty gazers do not 

Though all that she wears is some weeds round her waist 
in a sort of sash. . . . 

Ere you open your eyes in the city, the blessed church- 
bells begin : 

No sooner the bells leave otf than the diligence rattles in : 

You get the pick of the news, and it costs you never a 

By and by there's the travelling doctor gives pills, lets 
blood, draws teeth ; 

Or the Pulcinello-trumpet breaks up the market beneath. 
At the post-office such a scene-picture the new play, 

piping hot ! 
And a notice how, only this morning, three liberal thieves 

were shot. 


Above it, behold the Archbishop's most fatherly of 

And beneath, with his crown and his lion, some little 

new law of the Duke's ! . . . 

Noon strikes, here sweeps the procession ! Our Lady 

borne smiling and smart 
With a pink gauze gown all spangles, and seven swords 

stuck in her heart ! 
Bang-whang-whang goes the drum, tootle-te-tootle the 

No keeping one's haunches still : it's the greatest pleasure 

in life. . . . 

Look, two and two go the priests, then the monks with 

cowls and sandals, 
And the penitents dressed in white shirts, a-holding the 

yellow candles ; 
One, he carries a flag up straight, and another a cross 

with handles, 
And the Duke's guard brings up the rear, for the better 

prevention of scandals : 

Bang-whang-whang goes the drum, tootle-te-tootle the fife. 
Oh, a day in the city-square, there is no such pleasure in 


Up at a Villa Down in the City (1842) 




Now I appeale to all wise men, what an excessive wast 
of Treasury hath beene within these few yeares in this 
Land ... in the Idolatrous erection of Temples beautified 
exquisitely to out-vie the Papists, the costly and deare- 
bought Scandals, and snares of Images, Pictures, rich 
coaps, gorgeous Altar-clothes. . . . What can we suppose 
this will come to ? What other materials then these have 
built up the spirituall BABEL to the heighth of her Abomin- 
ations ? . . . The soure levin of humane Tradition mixt in 
one putrified Masse with the poisonous dregs of hypoc- 
risie in the hearts of Prelates that lye basking in the Sunny 
warmth of Wealth and promotion, is the Serpents Egge 
that will hatch an Antichrist wheresoever, and ingender 
the same Monster as big, or as little as the Lump is which 
breeds him. If the splendor of Gold and Silver begin to 
Lord it once againe in the Church of England, wee shall 
see Antichrist shortly wallow here, though his cheife 
Kennell be at Rome. If they had one thought upon God's 
glory and the advancement of Christian Faith, they would 
be a meanes that with these expences thus profusely 
throwne away in trash, rather Churches and Schools might 
be built, where they cry out for want ... a moderate 
maintenance distributed to every painfull Minister, that 


now scarse sustaines his Family with Bread, while the 
Prelats revell like Belshazzar with their full carouses in 
Goblets, and vessels of gold snacht from God*s Temple. . . . 

These devout Prelates, spight of our great Charter, 
and the soules of our Progenitors that wrested their liber- 
ties out of the Norman gripe with their dearest blood and 
highest prowesse, for these many years have not ceas't in 
their Pulpits wrinching and spraining the text, to set at 
nought and trample under foot all the most sacred and life 
blood Lawes, Statutes and Acts of Parliament ... by pro- 
scribing and confiscating from us all the right we have to 
our owne bodies, goods and liberties. What is this, but to 
blow a trumpet, and proclaime a hereditary and perpetuall 
civill warre. . . . 

Most certaine it is (as all our Stories beare witnesse) 
that ever since their coming to the See of Canterbury for 
neere twelve hundred yeares, to speak of them [the 
bishops] in generall, they have beene in England to our 
Soules a sad and dolefull succession of illiterate and blind 
guides : to our purposes and goods a wastfull band of 
robbers, a perpetuall havock and rapine : To our state a 
continuall Hydra of mischiefe and molestation, the forge 
of discord and rebellion . . . 

O let them not bring about their damned designes that 
stand now at the entrance of the bottomlesse pit expect- 
ing the Watch-word to open and let out those dreadfull 
Locusts and Scorpions, to re-involve us in that pitchy Cloud 
of infernall darknes, where we shall never more see the 
Sunne of the Truth againe, never hope for the cheerfull 
dawne, never more heare the Bird of Morning sing. . . . 

But they contrary . . . after a shamefull end in this 
Life (which God grant them) shall be throwne eternally 
into the darkest and deepest Gulfe of HELL, where under 


the despightfull controule, the trample and spume of all 
the other Damned, that in the anguish of their Torture 
shall have no other ease then to exercise a Raving and 
Bestiall Tyranny over them as their Slaves and Negro's, 
they shall remaine in that plight for ever, the basest, the 
lowermost, the most dejected, most underfoot and downe- 
trodden Vassals of Perdition. 

JOHN MILTON, Of Reformation in England (1641) 


Whatsoever time, or the heedlesse hand of blind chance, 
hath drawne down from of old to this present, in her huge 
dragnet, whether Fish, or Sea- Weed, Shells, or Shrubbs, 
unpickt, unchosen, those are the Fathers. 

JOHN MILTON, Of Prelatical Episcopacy (1641) 


She [Katherine Philips] was when a child much against 
the bishops, and prayd to God to take them to him. 

JOHN AUBREY, Brief Lives : Katherine Philips (c. 1680) 


Then he went into his owne country, to Beaudley (a 
market-towne) at which time Mr Baxter (his antagonist) 
preacht at Kidderminster, the next market-towne, two 


miles distant. They preacht against one another's doc- 
trines, and printed against each other. Mr Tombes was the 
Coryphaeus of the Anabaptists : both had great audience ; 
they went severall miles on foot to each doctor. Once (I 
thinke oftner) they disputed face to face, and the followers 
were like two armies, about 1500 of a party; and truly at 
last they fell by the eares, hurt was donne, and the civill 
magistrate had much adoe to quiet them. r, 

John Tombes (c. 1680) 


In Sir Charles Scarborough's time (he was of Caius 
College) Dr Batchcroft (the head of that house) would visit 
the boyes chambers, and see what they were studying ; 
and Charles Scarborough's genius let him to the mathe- 
matics, and he was wont to be reading of Clavius upon 
Euclid. The old Dr. had found in the title " e Societate 
Jesu" and was much scandalized at it. Sayd he, " By all 
meanes leave-off this author, and read Protestant mathe- 
maticall bookes." ^ 

Thomas Batchcroft 


The retaining of this Romish Liturgy is a provocation to 
God and a dishonour to our Church. ... If we have in- 
deed given a Bill of Divorce to Popery and Superstition, 


why do wee not say, as to a divors't wife, those things 
which are yours take them all with you, and they shall 
sweepe after you ? Why were we not thus wise at our 
parting from Rome ? Ah ! like a crafty adulteresse, she 
forgot nor all her smooth looks and inticing words at her 
parting : Yet keep these letters, these tokens, and these few 
ornaments. . . . Thus did those tenderhearted reformers 
dotingly suffer themselves to be overcome with harlot's 
language. . . . For we are deepe in dotage. 


An Apology for Smectymnuus (1642) 

From an Usurping Vice-Christ, whose ambition is so 
boundless as to extend to the Prophetical, Priestly, and 
Kingly Headship, over all the Earth. . . . From a Leprous 
Sect, which Condemneth the far greatest part of all 
Christ's Church on Earth, and calleth itself the whole and 
only Church : From that Church that decreeth Destruc- 
tion, to all that renounce not humane Sense . . . and that 
decreeth the Excommunication, Deposition, and Damna- 
tion, of all Princes that will not exterminate all such: and 
absolveth their Subjects from their Oaths of Allegiance : 
From that Beast whose Mark is Perjury, Perfidioi4sness, and 
Persecution, and that think they do God acceptable Service 
by killing his Servants, or tormenting them. . . . From 
the infernal Dragon, the Father of Lies, Malice and 
Murder, and all their Ministers and Kingdom of Dark- 
ness, Good Lord make haste to deliver thy Flock. 


The Protestant Religion Truely Stated and Justified 

(Pub. 1692) 


As to Popery . . . which for a thousand years past hath 
been introducing and multiplying corruptions both in 
doctrine and discipline, I look upon it to be the most ab- 
surd system of Christianity professed by any nation. But 
I cannot apprehend this kingdom to be in much danger 
from it. ... Their common people are sunk in poverty, 
ignorance and cowardice, and of as little consequence as 
women and children. JONATHAN SWIFT 

The Presbyterians' Plea of Merit in order to take off the 
Test impartially examined (1733) 


If we give any credit to this picture of Anne Boleyn, she 
was a lady of neither spirit nor beauty. Yet she had both. 
I am apt to think it is a burlesque upon her. It may be, 
'twas done at the expence and by the direction of a 
Roman Catholic. We know Roman Catholics hate her 
mortally, and therefore it is no wonder that she should be 
represented as a woman of no beauty or accomplishments. 
THOMAS HEARNE, Diary (June 10, 1718) 


jc. Honred Old friend, 

I must not omitt giveing you an accompt of Mr. 

Baxter's tryall, lately at Guild-Hall before Sr George 

Jeffery's our now Lord Chief Justice, where you'l find him 

declaimeing violently, upon the common theam of his 


ownc ignorance, and putrid mallice, against that most 
excelent saint, and grave minister of Christ, Mr. Baxter. 
When I saw the meeke man stand before the flameing 
eyes, and feirce look's of this Biggott, I thought of Paul 
standing before Nero . . . you'l see him driveing on 
furiously, like the Great Hanebal makeing his way Over 
the alps with fire and vinegar, pouring all the contempt 
and scorn upon him, as if he had bin a link boy, or 
rake kennel, . . . 

LORD C. J. : Oy is not this now an old knave. . . . Lord, 
we are thy people, thy peculiar people, thy Dear people, 
etc., and then he snorts and speaks thro' the nose, and 
clenches his hands, and lifts up his gogle eyes, in a mimi- 
call way, runing on furiously as he saith they use to pray : 
But old Pollixfin [Baxter's counsel] gave him a bite now 
and then, tho' he could hardly crowd in a word. 

POLL. : Why some tel you my lord tis hard measure to 
stop up these mens mouths and yet not suffer them to 
speak thro' the nose. 

LORD C. J. : Pollixfin I know you well enough, and He set 
a mark upon you, for you are the patron for the faction, 
this is an old Rogue and hath poyson'd the world with 
his Kederminster Doctrine : ... an old sismaticall knave, 
an hipocritticall villain. 

POLL : I beseech your lordship suffer me a word for my 
Clyent : tis well known to all intelligable men of age of 
this Nation, that these things agree not at all to the 
carracter of Mr Baxter, . . . and, my lords, Mr. Baxter's 
loyall and peaceable spirit King Charles the 2d woud 
have rewarded with a Bishoprick, when he came in, if he 
could have conformed, 

LORD C. J. : Oy oy we know that but what ail'd the old 


stockcole unthankfull villain, that he could not conforme 
was he better or wiser then other men ? He hath been 
ever since the spring of the faction, I am sure he hath 
poyson'd the world with his lincee-wolsie doctrin : . . . 
a conceited, stuborn, fanaticall dog, that did not conforme 
when he might have been prefer'd, hang him this one 
old fellow, hath cast more reproch upon the constitution 
and excelent discipline of our Church, then will be wip'd 
of this hundred years, but He handle him for it, for by 
God he deserves to be whipt thro the city. 

POLL : My lord, I am sure these things are not ad rem : . . . 

LORD C. J. : But He handle him well enough, Fie warrant 
you. . . . Come you, what do you say for your self, you 
old knave, come speak up : what doth he say : I am not 
afraid of you for all the sniveling calves that are got about 

MR. BAXTER : Your lordship need not, for I will not hurt 

Mr. Rotherham urg'd . . . that Baxter . . . had 
spoken very moderately and honourably of the Bishops 
of the Church of England. . . . 

BAXTER for Bishops, says JEFFREYS, that's a merry 
conceit indeed . . . Ay, This is your Presbyterian Cant; 
truly call'd to be Bishops, that is himself and such Rascals, 
call'd to be Bishops of Kidderminster, and other such 
Places. Bishops set apart by such Factious, Sniveling 
Presbyterians as himself ; a Kidderminster Bishop he 

[Mortice] Baxter himselfe desired leave to speake, the Lord Chief 
Justice said Richard, Richard, dost thou think wee will 
incur the danger of being at a Conventicle to heare 
thee preach, thou hast infected the kingdome and now 


wouldst infect this Court, with thy Kederminster stuff. 
. . . Richard thou art an old Fellow, an Old Knave ;t 
thou hast written Books eno' to Load a Cart, every one 
as full of Sedition (I might say Treason) as in Egg is full 
of Meat. Hadst thou been whipp'd out of thy Writing 
Trade, Forty Years ago, it had been happy . . . but by 
the Grace of God I'll look after thee ... by the Grace of 
Almighty God I'll Crush you all. 

Richard Baxter's Trial. Letter from J. C. (1685) 
Entring Book of J. Mortice (30th May, 1685) and 
Life of Baxter by Edmund Calamy (1702) 

We have an account from Whitechurch, in Shropshire, 
that the dissenters there having prepared a great quantity 
of bricks to erect a capacious conventicle, a destroying An- 
gel came by night and spoyled them all, and confounded 
their Babel in the beginning, to their great mortification. 
THOMAS HEARNE, Diary (Aug. 6, 1706) 

Almost every evening during the latter part of this 
winter [1792] there were riotous assemblages, and the 
windows of many of the Dissenters were broken. A very 
numerous mob collected one evening, who after breaking 
several windows, did great injury to the Meeting-House. 
. . . The Rev. George Whitmore, Tutor of the above 
College [St John's] thought more favourably of the con- 
duct of the mob. Addressing his pupils next morning 
... he expressed a hope that none of them had joined in 
the disturbance, which he was pleased to designate " A 



Sir Busick Harwood . . . made the following remark : 
" In general, every man ought to be considered honest 
until he has proved himself a rogue ; but with Dissenters, 
the maxim should be reversed, and every Dissenter should 
be considered a rogue, until he had proved himself an 
honest man. HENRY GUNNING 

Reminiscences of Cambridge (1852) 

Lord Eldon has the following reminiscence of this visit : 
" I had a walk in New Inn Hall Garden with Dr John- 
son and Sir Robert Chambers. Sir Robert was gathering 
snails, and throwing them over the wall into his neighbour's 
garden. The Doctor reproached him very roughly, and 
stated to him that this was unmannerly and unneighbourly. 
" Sir," said Sir Robert, " my neighbour is a Dissenter." 
" Oh ! " said the Doctor ; " if so, Chambers, toss away, 
toss away, as hard as you can." GEORGE BIRKBECK HILL 
Note! o BosweWs Life of Johnson (1887) 


I talked of the recent expulsion of six students from the 
University of Oxford, who were Methodists, and would 
not desist from publickly praying and exhorting. JOHN- 
SON : " Sir, that expulsion was extremely right and proper. 
What have they to do at an University who are not willing 
to be taught, but will presume to teach ? Where is religion 
to be learnt but at an University? Sir, they were ex- 
amined, and found to be mighty ignorant fellows." BOS- 
WELL : " But was it not hard, Sir, to expel them, for I 


am told they were good beings ? " JOHNSON : " I 
believe they might be good beings ; but they were not fit 
to be in the University of Oxford. A cow is a very good 
animal in the field ; but we turn her out of a garden." 
Lord Elibank used to repeat this as an illustration un- 
commonly happy. JAMES BOSWELL 

Life of Johnson (1791) 


That diabolical fanatick Sect which then destroyed 

Church and State. JONATHAN SWIFT 

Note written in Heylin's History of Presbyterians (1728) 

Characteristics of the Presbyterians and Independents 
1659: Manners; factious, saucy, and some impudent and 
conceited, morose, . . . false, factious in college, and delight- 
ing in petty plots . . . 

They would avoid a taverne and ale-house, but yet send 
for their commodities to their respective chambers and 
tiple and smoake till they were over-taken with the crea- 
ture Some I confess did venture, but then if overtaken 

would in their way home counterfeit a lameness or that 
some suddaine paine came upon them. . . . Many also 
of them that were the sons of upstart gentlemen, such as 
that had got the good places into their hands belonging 
to the lawcourts and had bought the lands of the clergy 
and gentry, were generally very proud, saucy, impudent. 


Life and Times 

An age given over to all vice whores and harlots, pimps 
and panders, bauds and buffoons, lechery and treachery, 
atheists and papists, rogues and rascalls, reason and trea- 
son, playmakers and stage players, officers debauched and 
corrupters . . . aggravated and promoted by presbytery. 

Ibid. (1667) 

Covenanters and presbyterians have been the ruine of 
many families, the authour of bloodshed, the causes of 
decay of common honesty ; and from their base dealings 
wee see how the former pietie and plaine dealing of this 
nation is turned into cruelty and cunning. IZAAK WALTON 
Life of Bishop Sanderson (1678) 


Is it not so that at Hippo, where I am, there are those who 
remember that your Faustinus, in the time of his authority, 
ordered that, since there were very few Catholics here, 
no-one should bake their bread for them, so that a baker, 
who was the lodger of one of our deacons, threw away his 
landlord's bread unbaked ? ST AUGUSTINE 

Scripta contra Donatistas. (Part II. Book II. c. 83) 


To contend that it is fantastical!, if not senselesse in some 
places, were a copious argument. . . . The like, or worse, 
may be said of the Litany, wherin neither priest nor 


people speak any intire sense of them selves throughout 
the whole . . . they keep life between them in piece of gasp- 
ing sense, and keep down the saucinesse of a continual! 
rebounding non-sense ... we all know it hath bin obvious 
to be the pattern of many a jig. And he who hath but 
read in good books of devotion . . . will presently perceave 
this Liturgy all over in conception leane and dry, of affec- 
tions empty and unmoving ; of passion, or any heighth 
wherto the soule might soar upon the wings of zeale, 
destitute and barren besides errors, tautologies, impertin- 
encies, as those thanks in woman's churching in her 
delivery from sun-burning and moon-blasting, as if she 
had bin travailing not in her bed, but in the deserts of 

So that while some men cease not to admire the incom- 
parable frame of our Liturgy, I cannot but admire as 
fast what they think is become of judgment and tast in 
other men, that they can hope to be heard without laugh- 
ter. . . . But when we remember this our Liturgy, where 
we found it, whence we had it ... it may be wondered 
how we can demurre whether it should be done away or 
no, and not rather fear we have highly offended in using it 
so long. It hath indeed bin pretended to be more ancient 
then the Masse . . . but so little proved that . . . having 
receav'd it from the Papall Church as an originall creature, 
for aught can be shewn to the contrary, form'd and fash- 
ion'd by work-maisters ill to be trusted, we may be assur'd 
that if God loathe the best of an idolater's prayer, much 
more the conceited fangle of his prayer. . . . Are we 
stronger than hee, to brook that which his heart cannot 
brook ? It is not surely because we think that prayers are 
no where to be had but at Rome ! 

JOHN MILTON, Apology for Smectyrnnuus (1642) 


The Common-Prayer-Book was sent down into Scotland, 
where the King had no more Right to send it, than into 
the Mogul's country ; but it was under a pretence of 
Uniformity, . . . But the old Herb-woman at Edinburgh 
put an end to that Game, for hearing the Arch-bishop 
who watch'd the Kubrick, directing him to read in the 
Book the Collect for the Day, she ... cry'd, The Dieul 
Collick in the wemb of thee, and withal threw her Cricket- 
stool at his Head, which gave a beginning to the War of 

Notes upon the Phenix edition of the Pastoral Letter (1694) 


The Quakers unmasked, and clearly detected to be but the 
Spawn of Romish Frogs, Jesuites, and Franciscan Freeres ; 
sent from Rome to seduce the intoxicated Giddy-headed 
English Nation. WILLIAM PRYNNE 

Title of a Tract (1654) 


They push hard at the Latitude men as they call them, 
some in their pulpitts call them sons of Belial, others 
make the Devill a latitudinarian, which things are as 
pleasant to me as the raillery of a jack-pudding at one 
end of a dancing-rope. For I understand not the sottish- 
ness of their language nor whom they mean, nor what 
they would have. HENRY MORE 

Letter to Lady Conway (1665) 


The settled aversion Dr Johnson felt towards an infidel he 
expressed to all ranks and at all times, without the smallest 
reserve. . . . We talked of a dead wit one evening, and 
somebody praised him. " Let us never praise talents so 
ill employed, Sir ; we foul our mouths by commending 
such infidels " (said he). The Abbe Reynal probably 
remembers that, being at the house of a common friend 
in London, the master of it approached Johnson with that 
gentleman so much celebrated in his hand, and this speech 
in his mouth : " Will you permit me, Sir, to present to 
you the Abbe Reynal ? " " No, Sir" (replied the Doctor 
very loud) and suddenly turned away from them both. 

HESTHER Piozzi, Anecdotes of Dr Johnson (1786) 

A gentleman . . . said, that in his opinion the character of 
an infidel was more detestable than that of a man notori- 
ously guilty of an atrocious crime. I differed from him. 
. . . JOHNSON : Sir, I agree with him, for the infidel 
would be guilty of any crime if he were inclined to it. 

JAMES BOS WELL, Life of Johnson (1791) 


Mons. Voltaire remained in the drawing-room, with a 
great Bible before us, and if ever two mortal men dis- 
puted with vehemence, we did. 

JAMES BOS WELL, Letter to William Temple (Ferney, 1764) 




The Seas are quiet, when the Winds give o're ; 
So calm are we, when Passions are no more : 
For then we know how vain it was to boast 
Of fleeting Things, so certain to be lost. 
Clouds of Affection from our younger Eyes 
Conceal that emptiness, which Age descries. 

The Soul's dark Cottage, batter'd and decay'd, 
Lets in new Light thro chinks that time has made 
Stronger by weakness, wiser Men become 
As they draw near to their Eternal home : 
Leaving the Old, both Worlds at once they view 
That stand upon the Threshold of the New. 


Of the last Verses in the Book (1686) 
(Poems, ed. 5) 


I remember before the Civill Warrs, ancient people, 
when they heard tha clock strike, were wont to say, 
" Lord, grant that my last houre may be my best houre." 


They had some pious ejaculation too, when the cock did 
crow, which did put them in mind of the trumpet at the 
Resurrection. JOHN AUBREY 

Remains of Gentilism and Judaism (1687) 


If I live to be Old, for I find I go down, 

Let this be my Fate. In a Country Town, 

May I have a warm house, with a Stone at the Gate, 

And a cleanly young Girl, to rub my bald Pate. 


May I govern my Passion with absolute Sway, 
And grow Wiser, and Better, as my Strength wears 

Without Gout, or Stone, by a gentle decay. 

Near a shady Grove, and a murmuring Brook, 
With the Ocean at Distance, whereupon I may look, 
With a spacious Plain, without Hedge or Stile, 
And an easy Pad-Nag, to ride out a Mile. 
May I govern, etc. 

With Horace and Petrarch, and Two or Three more 
Of the best Wits that reign'd in the Ages before, 
With roast Mutton, rather than Ven'son or Veal, 
And clean, tho' coarse Linnen at every Meal. 
May I govern, etc. 

With a Pudding on Sundays, with stout humming Liquor, 
And Remnants of Latin to welcome the Vicar, 
With Monte- Fiascone or Burgundy Wine 
To drink the Kings Health as oft as I dine. 
May I govern, etc. 


With a Courage undaunted, may I face my last Day, 

And when I am dead may the better sort say. 

In the Morning, when sober, in the Evening, when 


He's gone and left not behind him his Fellow. 
May I govern my Passion, etc. 

WALTER POPE, The Wish (1697) 


Or when three or foure good companions meet, tell old 
stories by the fier side, or in the Sunne, as old folkes 
usually doe . . . remembering afresh and with pleasure 
auncient matters, and such like accidents, which happnd 
in their younger yeares. . . . 

Old folks have their beades, an excellent invention to 
keepe them from idlenesse that are by nature melancholy, 
and past all affaires, to say so many Paternosters, Ave* 
maries, Cr cedes, if it were not prophane and superstitious. 


The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 


As you Apollo's Eldest Off-Spring are 
You of his Spirit claim a double share . . . 
True Wit, like Wine, thro' Age does riper grow, 
Brisker and clearer, nay and stronger too ... 
Thus your old Laurels flourish to this Day 
Like full-grown Trees, themselves to Heav'n display, 

And see young Suckers under them decay . . . 
So Phoebus, after all his Course, appears 
Bright as at first, and as unchang'd by Years : 
Does nothing of his Fire or Lustre lose, 
But sets at last, as glorious as he rose I 


To that Incomparable Poet, Mr Waller, in his Old Age 

(before 1687) 


I thought you would at least come and while away the 
remainder of life on the banks of the Thames in gaiety 
and old tales. . . . We shall neither of us ever be grave : 
dowagers roost all around us, and you could never want 
cards or mirth. . . . We should get together and comfort 
ourselves with reflecting on the brave days we have known 
not that I think people were a jot more clever or wise 
in our youth than they are now ; but as my system is 
always to live in a vision as much as I can, and as visions 
don't increase with years, there is nothing so natural as 
to think one remembers what one does not remember. 

HORACE WALPOLE, Letter to George Montagu (1768) 


I have known Ladies at Sixty, to whom all the polite part 

of the Court and Town paid their addresses, without any 

further view than that of enjoying the pleasure of their 

Conversation. JONATHAN SWIFT 

A Letter to a Very Young Lady (1727) 

PP 449 


Why shou'd Old Age to most so dreadful be ? 

Which, there are none but wish and pray to see ; 

What we, by that, lose in our Apetites, 

It, in our Sense and Temperance, requites ; 

Age, with our Body's Imbecility, 

But best our Sense and Soul does fortifie ; 

Weak'ning the Body, strengthens more the Mind, 

Which, as more Weak the Body grows, (we find) 

Is to resist strong Passions more inclin'd. . . . 

Tho' Death's afar off Grim, 'tis Tame when near. 

So keeps our Huffing Youth but most in fear. . . 

Then Death to Men sated with Life is Ease, 

Rest to the Tir'd, to th' Bed-rid a Release ; 

To the Long-Liv'd, the sole Variety, 

Who have done all they cou'd before, but Die, 

And Repetition is worst Drudgery ; 

The best of Life is but the same thing still, 

The Feast is loath'd, when we have had our Fill . . . 

Thus Age what Virtue ne'er cou'd compass does, 

Makes the Soul, in the Jail the Body loose. . . . 


In the Praise and Defence of Old Age : To a Vain 
Young Man, who said. There was nothing to be said for 
it, and that it was more dreadful than Death (c. 1704 ?) 


A fondness for the amusements and gaieties of fashionable 
life in an advanced age, seems to me not only contempt- 
ible but miserable, though I have often heard people 
envied for it. 

MRS. DONNELLAN, Letter to Samuel Richardson (1752) 


You'll tell me that Age is apt to impair the Memory : 
... I'll say that for my self, I can give a very particular 
and competent Account of the present Generation, and of 
their Fathers and Grandfathers before them too. . . . Was 
it ever known in this world that a doting Volpone forgot 
where he bury'd his Money ? Misers can remember 
what they have a mind to, as well as other People. . . . 
Sophocles wrote for the Stage as long as he liv'd. . . . 
Solon in his Verses values himself upon reflecting, that 
his Understanding improv'd as fast as his Days multiplyed. 
. . . Socrates toward the latter End of his Life became 
a Practitioner in Mustek ; a very creditable Accomplish- 
ment in the Opinion of the Ancients ; and I could wish I 
had try'd it my self. However, I have minded my Book, 
and lost no Time in my Closet. . . . 

In the second Place, as to any Decrease of Strength and 
Vigour (which was the second Hardship objected) in 
earnest, I find my self, upon the Experiment, altogether 
as insensible of the Loss, as in my Prime I was of the want 
of a Bull's or an Elephant's Muscles. . . . 

No Man is under a Necessity to play the Fool in his 
Old Age ; but every Man may if he pleases. Appius was 
quite dark some Time before he died, and yet capable of 
managing and disciplining four Sons (full grown) five 
Daughters, and a large Dependence of Relations and In- 
feriours. He minded his Business, and kept his Under- 
standing brac'd ; and when his Vigour had fail'd him, 
'twas more than his Age could do to foil him. ... In a 
word, he modell'd his Family like a primitive Roman, 
and follow'd the good old Way ; . . . . 

And (in Truth) let a Man follow his Business diligently, 

and always keep himself thus honestly and usefully 
employ 'd, and he will have no leisure to perceive the 
Encroachments of Old Age. 'Twill slide along with him 
by very gentle and insensible Degrees, till at last he 
sails (as 'twere) into Port, before he has had Occasion 
to take Notice of his Voyage. . . . 

If we must bid adieu to the Carnival of Life, to the 
Relish of large Glasses and the Delicacies of the Board 
the best on't is, we take our leave at the same Time of 
Giddiness, Headach, Indigestion, Qualms, Fumes, Broken- 
sleeps, and Distracting Dreams. . . . And if an Old 
Man at an Entertainment cannot swallow as liberally, he 
may refresh himself as comfortably as the rest of the 
Company. There was old Cairn Duilius, Marcus's Son, he 
that gave the first Blow to the Pride of Carthage by Sea. 
Many a Time when I was a Youngster, have I stood to 
look upon him as he was marching home after Supper, 
with a wax-taper to light him, and a Violin playing before 
him. . . . 

I am sure as to my self, all the Pleasure that I am 
affected with at a Repast in Season, is the Opportunity it 
gives me of conferring Notes now and then with some or 
other of those few Cavaliers remaining, that have seen as 
much of the world as my self ; but much more frequently 
with those that have not known it so long, as particularly, 
Gentlemen, your selves. My Years, I must tell you, have 
oblig'd me extreamly by diverting the Forwardness of 
my Appetite and the Curiosity of my Palat, from Diet to 
Discourse. . . . And this has been my Way of living in the 
Country ; a Day never passes but I get my good Neigh- 
bours about me, bid them welcome to what the House 
affords, and so we set round, talking of this Thing and 
t'other, till ten, eleven, perhaps twelve a Clock at Night. 


To return, I shall be told, perhaps, that as a Man grows 
in Years, he loses all the lively Flavour and Briskness of his 
Pleasures. No matter, so long as he does not miss it. ... 
An old Dotard was pleas'd to examine Socrates, whether 
he had no private Concerns, now and then, upon Occasion, 
with t'other Sex ? Bless me, what do you mean, Sir ? (say'd 
the Philosopher like himself), / were in a fine condition 
indeed, if I had not in all this Time broke the Tyranny 
of that insolent unruly Passion. . . . 

In short, what can we desire more than a fair and full 
Discharge from the Service of our own Appetites and 
Frenzies, our Lusts, Animositie, Ambition, etc., and to 
have our Souls and Senses, as we say, to our selves ? And 
then if there's a Foundation of Learning withal, and Lei- 
sure and Opportunity to work upon it, O ! how deliciously 
does an old Man enjoy himself ! Caius Gallus . . . took a 
Pride and Satisfaction in nothing so much as his Knowledge 
of Eclipses. . . . Noevius the Poet, how happily he pass'd 
the Time, while he was composing his Performance about 
the Punick War \ And so Plautus, when his Truculentus 
and Pseudolus were upon the Stocks. And old Livy was as 
fortunate as either of them. . . . Now what comparison is 
there between such significant Recreations as these, and 
the Beau's Paradise, the Taverns, the Stage, and the 
Masks ? . . . 

Next let us turn our Thoughts towards the Country, and 
the Scene of those agreeable Cares and Concerns which 
belong to it. These, I must own, are my beloved Employ ~ 
ments, as well they deserve to be. For when we are grown 
too old for other Things, we may still be fit enough to 
manage these matters. . . . 

Be it so ; yet aged People are strangely Sour, Sollicitous, 
Passionate, Peevish ; and 'tis odds but their Constitution's 

over-run with .Avarice too. Possibly: But then take 
Notice these Imperfections are owing not to the number 
of our Years, but to the Error of our Conduct. . . . The 
Difference is the same in Men, as in Wines : There are 
some so well Body'd and Generous that Age cannot turn 
them. . . . 

By this Time, Gentleman, I suppose the Wonder's 
over, and you may be sufficiently instructed to account for 
that Easiness and Serenity, nay that Delight and Pleasure, 
which crown these hoary Temples. ... In a Word, 'tis 
with Life, as with other Things, a moderate Measure and 
Quantity does best ; and whether there's another Life in 
Reversion or not, he that is much troubled about putrefy- 
ing, when 'tis Time, is his own Enemy. Old Age is the 
last Result, the clinching Scene of the Play ; and if we 
don't grow Sick on't by that Time, we should be glad, 
however, if we could fairly get out of the House betimes, 
and escape the Hurry. 

CICERO, De Senectute (45 B.C.) 
Trans. Samuel Parker (1704) 


Ah Posthumus \ Our yeares hence flye, 
And leave no sound ; nor piety, 

Or prayers, or vow 
Can keepe the wrinkle from the brow : 

But we must on, 

As Fate do's lead or draw us ; none. 
None, Posthumus, co'd ere decline 
The doome of cruell Proserpine. . . . 


3. Wave seen the past-best Times, and these 
Will nere return, we see the Seas, 

And Moons to wain ; 
But they fill up their Ebbs again : 

But vanisht man, 
Like to a Lilly-lost, nere can, 
Nere can repullulate, or bring 
His dayes to see a second Spring. 

4. But on we must, and thither tend, 
Where Anchus and rich Tullus blend 

Their sacred seed ; 
Thus has Inf email Jove decreed ; 

We must be made, 
Ere long, a song, ere long, a shade, 
Why then, since life to us is short, 
Lets make it full up, by our sport. . . . 

7. If we can meet, and so conferre, 
Both by a shining Salt-seller ; 

And have our Roofe, 
Although not archt, yet weather proofe, 

And seeling free, 

From that cheape Candle baudery : 
We'le eate our Beane with that full mirth, 
As we were Lords of all the earth. . . . 

12 Fie call my young 

Julus to sing such a song 

I made upon my Julia's brest ; 

And of her blush at such a feast 

13. For to beget 

In me a more transcendant heate, 
Then that insinuating fire, 
Which crept into each aged Sire. 


14. When the faire Hellen, from her eyes, 
Shot forth her loving Sorceries : 

At which Pie reare 
Mine aged limbs above my chaire : 

And hearing it, 
Flutter and crow, as in a fit 
Of fresh concupiscence, and cry, 
No lust theres like to Poetry. 

15. Thus frantick crazie man (God wot) 
He call to mind things half forgot : 

And oft between, 
Repeat the Times that I have seen ! . . . 

1 6. Then next Fie cause my hopefull Lad 
(If a wild Apple can be had) 

To crown the Hearth, 
(Larr thus conspiring with our mirth) 

Then to infuse 

Our browner Ale into the cruse : 
Which sweetly spic't, we'l first carouse 
Unto the Genius of the house. . . . 

1 8. To those, and then agen to thee 
We'l drink, my Wickes, untill we be 

Plump as the cherry, 
Though not so fresh, yet full as merry 

As the crickit ; 

The untam'd Heifer, or the Pricket, 
Untill our tongues shall tell our ears, 
Ware younger by a score of years. 

19. This, till we see the fire lesse shine 
From th' embers, than the killings eyne, 

We'l still sit up, 
Sphering about the wassail cup, 

To all those times, 

Which gave me honour for my Rhimes, 
The cole once spent, we'l then to bed, 
Farre more than night bewearied. 


His Age, dedicated to his peculiar friend., Mr. John 

Wickes. Hesperides (1648) 


It is my felicity to have remember how ridiculous I have 
formerly thought old people who forgot their own age 
when everybody else did not ; and it is lucky too that I 
feel no disposition that can lead me into absurdities. The 
present world might be my grandchildren ; as they are 
not, I have nothing to do with them. I am glad they are 
amused, but neither envy nor wish to partake of their 
pleasures or their business. When one preserve one's 
senses and faculties and suffers no pain, old age would 
be no grievance but for one ; yet oh ! that one is a heavy 
calamity the surviving one's friends : nay, even the loss 
of one's contemporaries is something ! at least I cannot 
feel interested in a generation that I do not know. 

HORACE WALPOLE, Letter to Sir Horace Mann (1784) 


I have seen a mistress of James the Second, the Duke of 
Marlborough's burial, three or four wars, the whole 
career, victories and death of Lord Chatham, the loss of 


America, the second conflagration of London by Lord 
George Gordon and yet I am not so old as Methusalem 
by four or five centuries ! In short, I can sit and amuse 
myself with my own memory, and yet find new stores at 
every audience that I give to it. Then, for private episodes, 
varieties of characters, political intrigues, literary anec- 
dotes, etc., the profusion that I remember is endless ; in 
short, when I reflect on all I have seen, heard, read, written, 
the many idle hours I have passed, the nights I have 
wasted playing at faro, the weeks, nay months, I have 
spent in pain, you will not wonder that I almost think I 
have, like Pythagoras, been Panthoides Euphorbus, and 
have retained one memory in at least two bodies. 

Ibid. (1785) 


I shall soon enter the period which, as the most agreeable 
of his long life, was selected by the judgement and experi- 
ence of the sage Fontenelle. ... I am far more inclined to 
embrace than to dispute this comfortable doctrine : I 
will not suppose any premature decay of the mind or 
body ; but I must reluctantly observe that two causes, the 
abbreviation of time and the failure of hope, will always 
tinge with a browner shade the evening of life. ... In old 
age, the consolation of hope is reserved for the tenderness 
of parents, who commence a new life in their children ; 
the faith of enthusiasts who sing Hallelujahs above the 
clouds, and the vanity of authors who presume the im- 
mortality of their name and writings. 

EDWARD GIBBON, Autobiography (1791) 


Old Age brings along with its uglinesses the comfort that 
you will soon be out of it. ... To be out of the war, out of 
debt, out of the drouht, out of the blues, out of the 
dentist's hands, out of the second thoughts, mortifica- 
tions, and remorses that inflict such twinges and shotting 
pains, out of the next winter, the high prices, and 
company below your ambition, surely these are soothing 
hints. And, harbinger of this, what an alleviator is 
sleep, which muzzles all these dogs for me every day. 

RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Journal (1864) 



In this kings reigne Pomona lived. There was not too bee 

Among the woodnymphes any one in all the Latian 


That was so conning for too keepe an Ortyard as was shee, 
Nor none so paynefull to preserve the frute of every tree. 
And theruppon she had her name. Shee past not for the 

Nor rivers, but the villages and boughes that bare both 



And plentuous frute. In sted of dart a shredding hooke 

shee bare. 
With which the overlusty boughes shee eft away did 

That spreaded out too farre, and eft did make therwith 

a rift 
To greffe another imp uppon the stocke within the 

And lest her trees should die through drought, with water 

of the springs. 
Shee moysteth of theyr sucking roots the little crumpled 

This was her love and whole delyght. And as for Venus 

Shee had no mynd at all for them. And forbycause shee 

Enforcement by the countrye folke, shee walld her yards 

Not suffring any man at all to enter in or out. 


Metamorphoses (c. 5 B.c) 
Trans. Arthur Golding (1567) 


My Garden filPd with Fruits you may behold, 
And Grapes in Clusters, imitating Gold ; 
Some blushing Bunches of a Purple Hue, 
And these, and those, are all reserv'd for you. 
Red Strawberries, in Shades, expecting stand, 
Proud to be gather'd by so white a Hand. 

Autumnal Cornels later Fruit provide, 
And Plumbs, to tempt you, turn their glossy Side : 
Not those of common Kinds ; but such alone, 
As in Phracian Orchards might have grown : 
Nor Chestnuts shall be wanting to your Food, 
Nor Garden-Fruits, nor Wildings of the Wood ; 
The laden Boughs for you alone shall bear ; 
And yours shall be the Product of the Year. 


Acts, Polyphemus and Galatea (1700) 
From Ovid, Metamorphoses (c. 5 B.C.) 


I, Hermes, stand here by the windy orchard at the cross- 
roads near the grey sea-shore, resting tired men on their 
way ; and the spring wells out cold pure water. 



Up thou north wynde, come thou south wynde, and blowe 
upon my garden, that the smel therof may be caried on 
every syde. yee that my beloved may come into my garden, 
and eate of the frutes and apples that growe therein. 

Come in to my garden, O my syster,my Spouse: I have 
gathered my Myrre with my spyce. I will eate my hony and 
my hony combe, I wyll dryncke my wyne and my mylcke. 


Trans. Miles Coverdale. Matthew's Bible (1537) 


Wassail the Trees, that they may beare 
You many a Plum, and many a Peare : 
For more or lesse fruits they will bring, 
As you doe give them Wassailing. 

ROBERT HERRICK, Hesperides (1648) 


Saluting the deare soyle, O famous Kent, quoth shee, 
What Country hath this He that can compare with 

thee, .... 
Where Thames-ward to the shore, which shoots upon the 


Rich Renham undertakes thy Closets to suffize 
With Cherries, which wee say, the Sommer in doth bring, 
Wherewith Pomona crowns the plump and lustfull Spring ; 
From whose deepe ruddy cheeke, sweet Zephyrs kisses 


With their delicious touch his love-sicke hart that heales. 
Whose golden gardens seeme th'Hesperides to mock : 
Nor there the Damzon wants, nor daintie Abricock, 
Nor Pippin, which we hold of kernell-fruits the King, 
The Apple-Orendge ; then the savory Russetting : 
The Peare-maine, which to France long ere to us was 


Which carefull Frut'rers now have denizend our owne. 
The Renat : which though first it from the Pippin came, 
Growne through his pureness nice, assumes that curious 



Upon the Pippin stock, the Pippin beeing set ; 
Aso on the Gentle, when the Gentle doth beget 
(Both by the Sire and Dame beeing anciently descended) 
The issue borne of them, his blood hath much amended. 
The Sweeting, for whose sake the Plow-boyes oft make 

warre : 

The Wilding, Costard, then the wel-known Pomwater, 
And sundry other fruits, of good, yet severall taste, 
That have their sundry names in sundry Countries plac't. 


Poly-Olbion. Song XVIII (1612) 


When we have run our Passions heat, 
Love hither makes his best retreat. 
The Gods, that mortal Beauty chase, 
Still in a Tree did end their race. 
Apollo hunted Daphne so, 
Only that she might Laurel grow. 
And Pan did after Syrinx speed, 
Not as a Nymph, but for a Reed. 

What wond'rous Life in this I lead f 
Ripe Apples drop about my head ; 
The Luscious Clusters of the Vine 
Upon my Mouth do crush their Wine ; 
The Nectaren and curious Peach, 
Into my hands themselves do reach ; 
Stumbling on Melons, as I pass, 
Insnar'd with Flowers, I fall on Grass. 

Mean while the Mind, from pleasure less, 

Withdraws into its happiness : 

The Mind, that Ocean where each kind 

Does streight its own resemblance find ; 

Yet it creates, transcending these, 

Far other Worlds, and other Seas ; 

Annihilating all that's made 

To a green Thought in a green Shade. 

Here at the Fountains sliding foot, 
Or at some Fruit-tree's mossy root, 
Casting the Bodies Vest aside, 
My Soul into the boughs does glide : 
There like a Bird it sits, and sings, 
Then whets, and combs its silver Wings ; 
And, till prepar'd for longer flight, 
Waves in its Plumes the various Light. 

Such was that happy Garden-state, 
While Man there walk'd without a Mate : 
After a Place so pure, and sweet, 
What other Help could yet be meet ! 
But 'twas beyond a Mortal's share 
To wander solitary there : 
Two Paradises 'twere in one 
To live in Paradise alone. 
ANDREW MARVELL, The Garden (c. 1653 : pub. 1681) 


Now forasmuch as Gentlemen are very inquisitive when 
were the best and securest season for exposing their 
Orange-trees, and more tender curiosities, I give them 


this for a rule the most infallible : that they observe the 
Mulberry-tree, when it begins to put forth and open the 
leaves (be it earlier or later) bring your Oranges &c. 
boldly out of the Conservatory ; 'tis your onely season 
to transplant and remove them. 


Kalendarium Hor tense (1664) 


Who would not joy to see his conquering hand 
Oe'r all the vegetable world command ? 
And the wild gyants of the wood receive 

What law hee's pleas 'd to give ? 
Hee bids th'ill-natur'd crab produce 
The gentler apples winy juice ; 
The golden fruit that worthy is 
of Galatea's purple kiss ; 
Hee does the savage hawthorn teach 
To bear the Medlar and the Pear ; 
Hee bids the rustique Plum to rear 
A nobler trunck, and bee a Peach, 
Even Daphnes coyness hee does mock. 
And weds the Cherry to her stock ; 
Though shee refus'd Apollos suit ; 
Ev'n she, the chast, and virgin tree, 
Now wonders at her self, to see 
That shee's a mother made, and blushes in her 



The Garden (1666) 



I cannot receive this passion, wherewith some embrace 
children scarsly borne, having neither motion in the soule, 
nor forme well to be distinguished in the body, whereby 
they might make themselves lovely or amiable. And I 
could never well endure to have them brought up or 
nursed neere about me. A true and well ordred affection 
ought to be borne and augmented with the knowledge they 
give us of themselves; and then, if they deserve it (naturall 
inclination marching hand in hand with reason) to cherish 
and make much of them, with a perfect fatherly love and 
loving friendship, and conformably to judje of them if they 
be otherwise, always yeelding our selves into reason . . . 
For the most part, it goeth clean contrary, and commonly 
we feele our selves more moved with the sports, idlenesse, 
wantonnesse, and infant-trifles of our children, then after- 
ward we do with all their actions, when they be men : 
As if we had loved them for our pastimes, as we do apes, 
monkies, or perokitoes, and not as man. And some that 
liberally furnish them with sporting babies while they be 
children, will miserably pinch it in the least expence for 


necessaries when they grow men. Nay, it seemeth that the 
jelousie we have to see them appeare into and injoy the 
world, when we are ready to leave them, makes us more 
sparing and close-handed toward them. 


Essays : Of the affection of fathers to their 

Children (1580) 
Trans. John Florio (1603) 


None could answer the naked Indian, Why one Man 
should take Pains, and run Hazards by Sea and Land all his 
Life, that his Children might be safe and lazy all theirs. 


Of Gardening (1685) 


When Arch Bishop's Abbot's mother . . . was with child 
of him, she did long for a jack, and she dreamt that if shee 
should eat a jack, her son in her belly should be a great 
man. She arose early the next morning, and went with her 
payle to the river side ... to take up some water, and in 
the water in her payle shee found a good jack, which she 
dresst, and eat it all, or very near. Severall of the best in- 
habitants of Guildford were invited (or invited themselves) 


to the Christening of the child ; it was bred up a 
Scholar in the town, and by degrees, came to be Arch 
Bishop of Canterbury. 

JOHN AUBREY, Miscellanies (1696) 


There was a feast of Hera among the Argives, and it was by 
all means necessary that their mother should be borne 
in a car to the temple. But, since their oxen were not 
brought up in time from the field, the young men, barred 
from all else from lack of time, submitted themselves to 
the yoke and drew the wain, their mother being borne by 
them upon it ; and so they brought it on for five and forty 
furlongs, and came to the temple. Then after they had done 
this and been seen by the assembled crowd, there came to 
their life a most excellent ending ; and in this the deity 
declared that it was better for man to die than to continue 
to live. For the Argive men were standing round and extol- 
ling the strength of the young men, while the argive 
women were extolling the mother to whose lot it had 
fallen to have such sons ; and the mother, being exceedingly 
rejoiced both by the deed itself and by the report made of 
it, took her stand in front of the image of the goddess and 
prayed that she would give to Cleobis and Biton her sons, 
who had honoured her greatly, that gift which is best for 
man to receive : and after this prayer, when they had 
sacrificed and feasted, the young men lay down to sleep 
within the temple itself, and never rose again. 

HERODOTUS, History (5th cent. B.C.) 
Trans. G. C. Macaulay 


Jan. 2jth, 1658. After six fits of a quartan ague with 
which it pleased God to visite him, died my deare Son 
Richard, to our inexpressible griefe and affliction, 5 
yeares and 3 days old onely, but at that tender age a 
prodigy for witt and understanding ; for beauty of body a 
very angel ; for endowment of mind of incredible and 
rare hopes. To give onely a little taste of them, and thereby 
glory to God, sense of God he had learn'd all his cate- 
chisme who out of the mouths of babes and infants does 
sometimes perfect his praises : at 2 years and a halfe old 
he could perfectly reade any of the English, Latine, 
French, or Gottic letters, pronouncing the three first 
languages exactly. He had before the 5th yeare, or in that 
yeare, not onely skill to reade most written hands, but to 
decline all the nouns, conjugate the verbs regular, and 
most of the irregular ; learn'd out " Puerilis," got by 
heart almost the entire vocabularie of Latine and French 
primitives and words, could make congruous syntax, 
turne English into Latine, and vice versa, construe and 
prove what he read, and did the government and use of 
relatives, verbs, substantives, elipses, and many figures 
and tropes, and made a considerable progress in Comen- 
ius's Janua ; began himselfe to write legibly, and had a 
strong passion for Greeke. The number of verses he could 
recite was prodigious, and what he remember'd of the 
parts of playes, which he would also act; and when seeing 
a Plautus in one's hand, he ask'd what booke it was, and 
being told it was comedy, and too difficult for him, he 
wept for sorrow. Strange was his apt and ingenious 
application of fables and morals, for he had read /Esop ; 
he had a wonderful disposition to mathematics, having 


by heart divers propositions of Euclid that were read to 
him in play, and he would make lines and demonstrate 
them. As to his piety, astonishing were his applications 
of Scripture upon occasion, and his early, and understood 
the historical part of the Bible and New Testament to a 
wonder, how Christ came to redeeme mankind, and how, 
comprehending these necessarys himselfe, his godfathers 
were discharg'd of their promise. These and the like 
illuminations, far exceeding his age and experience, 
considering the prettinesse of his addresse and behaviour, 
cannot but leave impressions in me at the memory of him. 
When one told him how many dayes a Quaker had fasted, 
he replied that was no wonder, for Christ had said that 
man should not live by bread alone, but by the Word of 
God. He would of himselfe select the most pathetic 
psalms, and chapters out of Job, to reade to his mayde 
during his sicknesse, telling her when she pitied him, 
that all God's children must suffer affliction. He de- 
claim'd against the vanities of the world before he had 
scene any. Often he would desire those who came to see 
him to pray by him, and a yeare before he fell sick, to 
kneel and pray with him alone in some corner. How 
thankfully would he receive admonition, how soone be 
reconciled ! how indifferent, yet continualy chereful ! 
He would give grave advice to his Brother John, beare 
with his impertinencies, and say he was but a child. If he 
heard of or saw any new thing, he was unquiet till he was 
told how it was made ; he brought to us all such difficulties 
as he found in books, to be expounded. He had learn'd 
by heart divers sentences in Latin and Greeke, which on 
occasion he would produce even to wonder. He was all 
life, all prettinesse, far from morose, sullen, or childish 
in any thing he said or did. The last time he had been 


at church (which was at Greenewich), I ask'd him, 
according to costome, what he remembered of the sermon; 
two good things. Father, said he, bonum gratice and bonum 
gloria, with a just account of what the preacher said. 



March IO//T, 1685. . . . The justnesse of her stature, 
person, comeliness of countenance, gracefullnesse of 
motion, unaffected th' more than ordinary beautifull, 
were the least of her ornaments compared with those of 
her mind. Of early piety, singularly religious, spending 
a part of every day in private devotion, reading, and other 
vertuous exercises, she had collected and written out 
many of the most usefull and judicious periods of the 
books she read in a kind of commonplace, She had read 
and digested a considerable deale of history and of places. 
The French tongue was as familiar to her as English; 
she understood Italian, . . . and she did make very prudent 
and discrete reflexions upon what she had observ'd of the 
conversations among which she had at any time ben, . . . 
She had an excellent voice, to which she play'd a thorough- 
bass on the harpsichord, the sweetnesse of her voice 
and management of it added such an agreeablenesse to 
her countenance, without any constraint or concerne, 
that when she sung, it was as charming to the eye as to 
the eare ; What shall I say, .... of the cheerefullness 
and agreeablenesse of her humour ? condescending to the 
meanest servant in the family. . . . She would often 
reade to them, examine, instruct, and pray with them if 
they were sick, so as she was exceedingly beloved of every 

body. Piety was so prevalent an ingredient of her con- 
stitution (as I may say), that even amongst equals and 
superiors she no sooner became intimately acquainted, 
but she would endeavour to improve them, by insinuating 
something of religious, . . . she had one or two confidents 
with whom she used to passe whole dayes in fasting, 
reading, and prayers, especialy before the monethly 
communion and other solemn occasions. She abhorr'd 
flattery, and tho* she had aboundance of witt, the 
raillery was so innocent and ingenuous that it was most 
agreeable ; she sometimes would see a play, but since 
the stage grew licentious, express'd herselfe weary of 
them, She never play'd at cards without extreame im- 
portunity and for the company, but this was so very 
seldome that I cannot number it among any thing she 
could name a fault. No one could read prose or verse 
better or with more judgment ; and as she read, so she 
writ, not only most correct orthography, with that 
maturitie of judgment and exactnesse of the periods, 
choice of expressions, and familiarity of stile, that some 
letters of hers have astonish'd me and others to whom 
she has occasionally written. She had a talent of rehersing 
any comical part or poeme, as to them she might be 
decently free with ; she daunc'd with the greatest grace I 
had ever scene. . . . Nothing affected, but natural and 
easy as well in her deportment as in her discourse, which 
was always materiall, not trifling, and to which the 
extraordinary sweetnesse of her tone, even in familiar 
speaking, was very charming. Nothing was so pretty as 
her descending to play with little children, whom she 
would caresse and humour with greate delight. But she 
most affected to be with grave and sober men, of whom 
she might learne something, and improve herselfe. . . . 


comprehensive of uncommon notions, curious of know- 
ing every thing to some excesse, had I not sometimes 
repressed it. Nothing was so delightful to her as to go 
into my study, where she would willingly have spent 
whole dayes, for as I sayd she had read aboundance of 
history and all the best poets, even Terence, Plautus, 
Homer, Vergil, Ovid ; all the best romances and modern 
poemes ; . . . but all these are vaine trifles to the virtues 
which adorn'd her soule ; . . . 

. . . There were foure gentlemen of quality offering to 
treate with me about marriage, and I freely gave her her 
owne choice, knowing her discretion. She showed greate 
indifference to marrying at all, for truly, says she to her 
mother (the other day), were I assured of your life and 
my deare father's, never would I part from you ; I love 
you and this home, where we serve God, above all things, 
nor ever shall I be so happy ; I know and consider the 
vicissitudes of the world, I have some experience of its 
vanities, and but for decency more than inclination, and 
that you judge it expedient for me, I would not change 
my condition, but rather add the fortune you designe me 
to my sisters, . . . This was so discreetly and sincerely 
utter'd that it could not but proceede from an extra- 
ordinary child, . . . 

. . . Divers noble persons honour'd her funeral, some in 
person, others sending their coaches, of which there were 
six or seven with six horses, viz. the Countesse of Sunder- 
land, Earle of Clarendon, Lord Godolphin, Sir Stephen 
Fox, Sir Wm., Godolphin, Viscount Falkland and others. 
There were distributed amongst her friends about 60 
rings. iud. 



LADY : It seemeth unto me, that . . . parents and masters 
ought to search diligently, if their Children be adicted to 
any vice, to free them from the same, even from their 
youth, before they be over much rooted in them. I pray 
you to tell me the truth (for I am not any of those foolish 
mothers, which will never beleeve any imperfections of 
children, but like the Ape, It seems unto them that they 
be above al other faire and perfect) doe you finde any 
bad inclination in mine ? . . . 

MASTER : . . . your sonne Guy is somwhat slowe to rise in 
the morning, for one must call him three or foure times 
before he come out of his bed, I have thought good to tell 
it you before his face, specially at this time, to the end it 
may please you to take the paine to tell him his lesson, 
as well as to his yonger brother. 

LADY : Is it true ? Truly M. Champorte-advis, the greatest 
faulte is in you, it is but a benumming of the limbes that 
he hath, which you ought to supply, in annointing him 
with the juice of Birch, which is excellent for such 
a cure, and if you apply it but twise or thrice, You shall see 
a mervailous operation, But if your medicine be not of 
force, let me knowe it, and I will make him such a morning 
song that it wil awake him in all diligence and hasten him 
more then a good pace. Come hether freind, I am ashamd 
to hear that what I hear of you, . . . You have attayned 
to the age of nyne yeeres, at least to eight and a halfe, and 
seeing that you knowe your dutie, if you neglect it you 
deserve greater punishment than he which through 
ignorance doth it not. Think not that the nobilite of your 
Ancesters doth free you to doe all that you list, contrary- 
wise, it bindeth you more to folio we vertue. . . . 

PIERRE ERONDELL, The French Garden (1605) 


The Joyes of Parents are Secret ; And so are their Griefes, 
and Feares : They cannot utter the one ; Nor they will 
not utter the other. Children sweeten Labours ; but they 
make Misfortunes more bitter : They increase the Cares 
of Life ; but they mitigate the Remembrance of Death. . . . 
The Difference in Affection, of Parents, towards their 
severall Children, is many Times unequall ; And some- 
times unworthy ; Especially in the Mother ; as Salomon 
saith ; A wise Sonne rejoyceth the Father ; but an ungracious 
Sonne shames the Mother. A Man shall see, where there 
is a house full of Children, one or two, of the eldest, 
respected, and the youngest made Wantons ; But in the 
middest, some that are, as it were forgotten, who, many 
times, neverthelesse, prove the best. FRANCIS BACON 
Essay es : Of Parents and Children (1625) 


I shall be glad to hear from you, and of your children and 
mine. By the way, it seems that I have got another a 
daughter, by that same lady, whom you will recognise by 
what I said of her in former letters. I mean her who 
returned to England to become a Mamma incog., and who 
I pray the Gods to keep there. I am a little puzzled how 
to dispose of this new production (which is two or three 
months old, though I did not receive the accounts till at 
Rome) but shall probably send for and place it in a Venetian 
convent, to become a good Catholic, and (it may be) a 
Nun, being a character somewhat wanted in our family. 


They tell me it is very pretty, with blue eyes and dark 
hair ; and, although I never was attached nor pretended 
attachment to the mother, still in case of the eternal war 
and alienation which I foresee about my legitimate daugh- 
ter, Ada, it may be as well to have something to repose a 
hope upon. I must love something in my old age, and 
probably circumstances will render this poor little crea- 
ture a great, and perhaps my only, comfort. 

Letter to the Hon. Augusta Leigh (1817) 

My little girl, Allegra, (the child I spoke to you of) has 
been with me these three months : she is very pretty, 
remarkably intelligent and a great favourite with every- 
body ; . . . She has very blue eyes, and that singular fore- 
head, fair curly hair, and a devil of a Spirit but that is 
Papa's. Ibid. (1818) 

About Allegra, I can only say to Claire, that I so totally 
disapprove of the mode of children's treatment in their 
[the Shelley's] family, that I should look upon the Child 
as going into a hospital. Is it not so ? Have they reared 
one ? Her health here has hitherto been excellent^ and her 
temper not bad ; she is sometimes vain and obstinate, but 
always clean and cheerful, and as in a year or two I shall 
either send her to England or put her in a Convent for 
education, these defects will be remedied as far as they 
can in human nature. But the Child shall not quit me 
again to perish of Starvation and green fruit, or be taught 
to believe that there is no Deity. . . . 


The Girl is not so well off as with you, but far better 
than with them ; the fact is she is spoilt, being a great 
favourite with every body on account of the fairness of 
her skin, which shines among their dusky children like 
the milky way. . . . She has grown considerably, is very 
clean and lively. She has plenty of air and exercise at home, 
and she goes out daily with M e Guiccioli in her carriage 
to the Corso. 

Letter to R. B. Hoppner (1820) 

Clare writes me the most insolent letters about Allegra ; 
see what a man gets by taking care of natural children. 
Were it not for the poor little child's sake, I am almost 
tempted to send her back to her atheistical mother, but 
that would be too bad. You cannot conceive the excess of 
her insolence, and I know not why, for I have been 
at great care and expense, taking a house in the country 
on purpose for her [Allegra]. She has two maids, and every 
possible attention. If Clare thinks she shall ever interfere 
with the child's morals or education, she mistakes ; she 
never shall. The girl shall be a Christian, and a married 
woman, if possible. . . . She may see her, under proper 
restrictions ; but she is not to throw everything into con- 
fusion with her Bedlam behaviour. To express it deli- 
cately, I think Madame Clare is a damned bitch. What 
think you ? Ibidf ( l820 j 

I have neither spared trouble nor expense in the care of 
the child; and as she was now four years old complete, and 
quite above the control of the servants, and as a man 


living without any woman at the head of his house cannot 
much attend to a nursery I had no resource but to place 
her for a time (at a high pension too) in the convent of 
Bagna-Cavalli, (twelve miles off) where the air is good, 
and where she will, at least, have her learning advanced 
and her morals and religion inculcated. . . . Abroad, 
with a fair foreign education and a portion of five or 
six thousand pounds, she might and may marry very 
respectably. nidt (l82I ) 

I am no enemy to religion, but the contrary. As a proof, 
I am educating my natural daughter a strict Catholic in 
a convent of Romagna ; for I think people can never have 
enough of religion, if they are to have any. ^^ 

Letter to Thomas Moore (1822) 


The she Apes of all sorts are wondrous fond of their little 
ones : and such as are made tame within house will carry 
them in their armes all about so soon as they have brought 
them into the world, keepe a shewing of them to every 
bodie, and they take pleasure to have them dandled by 
others, as if thereby they tooke knowledge that folke joyed 
for their safe deliverance : but such a culling and hugging 
of them they keep, that in the end with very clasping and 
clipping they kill them many times. PLINY THE ELDER 

Natural History (c. 77) 
Trans. Philemon Holland (1601) 



The old Lord Gray (our English Achilles) when hee was 
Deputie of Ireland, to inure his sonnes for the warre, 
would usually in the depths of Winter, in frost, snow, 
raine, and what weather soever fell, cause them at midnight 
to be raised out of their beds, and carried abroad on hunting 
till the next morning, then perhaps come wet and cold home, 
having for a breakefast, a browne loafe and a mouldie 
Cheese, or (which is ten times worse) a dish of Irish butter : 
and in this manner the Spartans and Laconians dieted and 
brought up their children, till they come into mans estate. 


The Compleat Gentleman (1622) 


Fond and foolish Parents . . . whose cockering and apish 
indulgence (to the corrupting of the minds of their 
Children, disabling their wits, effeminating their bodies) 
how bitterly doth Plato taxe and abhorre ! 


Bronchus the son of Apollo^ whom he begot of Jance> 
Succrons daughter (saith Lactantius) when he kept King 
Admetus 9 beards in Thessaly, now grown a man, was an 
earnest suitor to his mother to know his father ; the 
Nymph denied him, because Apollo had conjured her to 
the contrary ; yet overcome by his importunity, at last 


she sent him to his father ; when he came into Apollo's 
presence, ... he carried himself so well, and was so 
fair a yong man, that Apollo was infinitely taken with 
the beauty of his person, he could scarce look off him 
and said he was worthy of such parents, gave him a crown 
of gold, the spirit of Divination, and in conclusion made 
him a Demi-god. 


Anatomic of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1652) 



I am vexed that you have given up going out to dinner, 
for you have deprived yourself of much pleasure and 
delight. Then too, I am afraid (for I may speak the truth 
to you) that you will unlearn and forget your habit of 
giving little dinners yourself. . . . 

But by Hercules, Paetus, joking apart, I advise you to 
do what I believe belongs to a happy life, and associate 
with good, and agreeable men who are fond of you. 
Nothing is better suited to happy living. And I don't re- 
fer to the pleasures of appetite, but to good fellowship, and 
that relaxation of mind which is effected most by familiar 
conversation, and which is most delightful at convivial 
banquets, as our nation, wiser than the Greeks, call them ; 


for the latter call them symposia, or syndeipna, that is, 
drinkings together, or dining together, but we call them 
" livings together," for then do our lives most meet. 
You see how I am trying to recall you to dinners by 
philosophy ? Take care to keep well. The easiest way to do 
this is to dine out. 


Letter to Papirius Paetus (43 B.C.) 


I sup'd with the warden of Wadham at his lodgings, 
Mr. Lloyd being with me. He desir'd Mr Lloyd to bring 
me with him. He gave me roast meat and beat me with the 
spit. He told me that my book was full of contumelies, 
falsities, contradictions, and full of frivolous stuff. . . . He 
had the book there and read it scornfully. 


Life and Times (1674) 


Those Guianians and also the borderers, and all others in that 
tract which I have seen are marveylous great drunkardes, 
in which vice I think no nation can compare with them : 
and at the times of their solemne feasts when the Emperor 
carowseth with his Captayns, tributories, and governours, 
the manner is thus. All those that pledge him are first 
stripped naked, and their bodies annoynted al over with a 
kinde of white Balsamum (by them called Curcai) of which 
Qp 481 

there is great plenty and yet very deare amongst them, and 
it is of all other the most pretious, whereof we have had 
good experience : when they are annointed all over, certaine 
servants of the Emperor having prepared gold made into 
fine powder blow it thorow hollow canes upon their naked 
bodies, until they be al shining from the foote to the head, 
and in this sort they sit drinking by twenties and hundreds 
and continue in drunkennes sometimes sixe or seven daies 
togither : the same is also confirmed by a letter written 
into Spaine which was intercepted, which master Robert 
Dudley told me he had seen. SIR WALTER RALEIGH 

The Discoverie of Guiana (1596) 


April 28, 1667. We had, with my wife and I, twelve at table, 
and very good and pleasant company, and a most neat and 
excellent but dear dinner ; but Lord ! to see with what 
envy they looked upon all my fine plate was pleasant ; 
for I made the best shew I could, to let them understand 
me and my condition, to take down the pride of Mrs Clerke, 
who thinks herself very great. We sat long, and very merry, 
and all things agreeable ; and, after dinner, went out by 
coaches . . . but I thought all the charge ought not to be 
mine, and therefore I endeavoured to part the company. 

Jan. 6, 1668. By and by to my house, to a very good sup- 
per, and mighty merry, and good musick playing ; and after 
supper to dancing and singing till about twelve at night ; 
and then we had a good sack posset for them, and an excel- 
lent cake, cost me near 2os., of our Jane's making, which was 


cut into twenty pieces, there being by this time so many 
of our company, by the coming in of ... some others of 
our neighbours, young men that could dance, hearing of 
our dancing ; . . . And so to dancing again, and singing, 
with extraordinary great pleasure, till about two in the 

morning, and then broke up They being gone, I paid 

the fiddlers 3 among the four, and so away to bed, weary 
and mightily pleased, and have the happiness to reflect 
upon it as I do sometimes on other things, as going to a 
play or the like, to be the greatest real comfort that I am 
to expect in the world, and that it is that that we do really 
labour in the hopes of; and so I do really enjoy myself, and 
understand that if I do not do it now I shall not hereafter, 
it may be, be able to pay for it, or have health to take 
pleasure in it, and so fill myself up with vain expectations 
of pleasure and go without it. 

March i. 1669. Did resolve to go on with our feast and 
dancing to-morrow ; and so, after supper, left the maids 
to make clean the house, and to lay the cloth, and other 
things against to-morrow, and we to bed. 

March 2. Up and at the office till noon, when home, 
and there I find my company come ... I had a noble 
dinner for them as I almost ever had, and mighty merry, 
and particularly pleased with looking on Betty Turner, 
who is mighty pretty. We fell to dancing, and continued, 
only with intermission for a good supper, till two in the 
morning, the musick being Greeting, and another most ex- 
cellent violin, and theorbo, the best in town. And so with a 
mighty mirth, and pleased with their dancing of jigs . . . and 
lastly W. Batelier's " Blackmore and Blackmore Mad," 
and then to a country-dance again, and so broke up with 


extraordinary pleasure, as being one of the days and nights 
of my life spent with the greatest content ; and that which I 
can but hope to repeat again a few times in my whole life. 

March 6. This day my wife made it appear to me that 
my late entertainment this week cost me above 12, an 
expence which I am almost ashamed of, though it is but 
once in a great while, and is the end for which, in the most 
part, we live, to have such a merry day once or twice in a 
man's life. 



Twice a week there is a ball. ... I was there Friday last 
with my aunt. . . . The place was so hot, and the smell so 
different from what we are used to in the country, that I 
was quite feverish when we came away. Aunt says it is the 
effect of a vulgar constitution, reared among woods and 
mountains, and that as I become accustomed to genteel 
company, it will wear off. 


Humphrey Clinker (1771) 


. . . The other evening we happened to be got together 
in a company of eighteen people, men and women of the 
best fashion here, at a garden in the town to walk ; when 
one of the ladies bethought herself of asking. Why should 


we not sup here ? Immediately the cloth was laid by the 
side of a fountain under the trees, and a very elegant supper 
served up ; after which another said. Come, let us sing ; 
and directly began herself: From singing we insensibly 
fell to dancing, and singing in a round ; when somebody 
mentioned the violins, and immediately a company of them 
was ordered : Minuets were held in the open air, and then 
came country dances, which held till four o'clock next 
morning, at which hour the gayest lady there proposed 
that such as were weary should get into their coaches, 
and the rest of them should dance before them, with the 
music in the van ; and in this manner we paraded through all 
the principal streets of the city, and waked every body in it. 
Mr Walpole had a mind to make a custom of the thing. . . . 

Letter to his mother (Rheims, 1739) 


The ball at Mr. Conolly's was by no means delightful 
the house is small, it was hot, and was composed of young 


Letter to George Montagu (1759) 


. . . and came home in the evening to a The at Mrs 
Montagu's. Perhaps you do not know that a The is among 
the stupid new follies of the winter. You are to invite fifty 


to a hundred people to come at eight o'clock : there is to 
be a long table, or little parties at small ones ; the cloth is 
to be laid, as at breakfast ; the table is covered with rolls, 
wafers, bread and butter ; and what constitutes the very 
essence of a The, an immense load of hot buttered rolls 
and muffins, all admirably contrived to create a nausea in 
persons fresh from the dinner table. Now, of all nations 
under the sun, as I take it, the English are the greatest 
fools : because the Duke of Dorset in Paris, where 
people dine at two, thought this would be a pretty fashion 
to introduce, we, who dine at six, must adopt this French 
translation of an English fashion. . . . This will be a short 


Letter to her Sister (1788) 


LADY : What is it a clocke ? I beleeve it is verie late. 
MISTRIS : It is halfe an houre past ten Madam, almost 

LADY : We have been long at supper, then afterward we 
have had dauncing . . . then came a Maske which made a 
faire shewe. They played at Gardes, at Cent, at Primeroe, 
at trompe, at dice, at Tables, at lurch, at Draughts, at 
perforce, at pleasant, at blowing, at Queenes game, at 
Chesses : The Maydens did play at purposes, at sales, to 
thinke, at wonders, at states, at vertues, at answers, so 
that we could not come sooner, but it is all one. We will 
sleepe the longer to-morrow for amends. 


The French Garden (1605) 


We talked of an evening society for conversation at a 
house in town ... of which Johnson said, " It will never 
do. Sir. There is nothing served about there, neither tea, 
nor coffee, nor lemonade, nor anything whatever ; and 
depend upon it, Sir, a man does not love to go to a place 
from which he comes out exactly as he went in. ... I 
told Mrs Thrale once, that as she did not choose to have 
card tables, she should have a profusion of the best sweet- 
meats, and she would be sure to have company enough 
come to her." 


Life of Johnson (1791) 


The servant gave me my coat and hat, and in a glow of self- 
satisfaction I walked out into the night. " A delightful 
evening," I reflected, " the nicest kind of people. What I 
said about finance and French philosophy impressed them ; 
and how they laughed when I imitated a pig squealing." 
But soon after, " God, it's awful," I muttered, " I 
wish I were dead." 


Trivia (1918) 




England as Good as Italy 

I find no cause nor judge I reason why 
My Countrey should give place to Lumbardy. 
As goodly flow'rs on Thamesis doe growe 
As beautifies the Bankes of wanton Po ; 
As many Nymphs as haunt rich Arnus' strand 
By silver Severne tripping hand in hand 
Our shade's as sweet, though not to us so deere, 
Because the Sunne hath greater power there. 
MICHAEL DRAYTON, England's Heroicall Epistles (159?) 

And the English as Witty as any People 

Be it spoken to the honour of the English, our nation can 
never want in any age such who are able to dispute the 
Empire of Wit with any People in the Universe. 

JOHN DRYDEN, Dramatick Poesy (1668) 

In Fact., God's Chosen Nation 

What does he then but reveal Himself to his servants, and 
as his manner is, first to his Englishmen. . . . Behold now 


this vast City ; a City of refuge, the mansion house of 
liberty, encompast and surrounded with his protection ; 
. . . there be pens and hands there, sitting by their studious 
lamps, musing, searching, revolving new notions, and 
idea's . . . others as fast reading, trying all things, assent- 
ing to the force of reason and convincement. What could a 
man require more from a Nation so pliant and so prone to 
seek after knowledge. What wants there to such a towardly 
and pregnant soile, but wise and faithfull labourers, to 
make a knowing people, a Nation of Prophets, of Sages, 
and of Worthies. 


Areopagitica (1643) 

The Best Patron Saint 

Henry the Fifth, he conquered all France, 
He quartered their Arms, his Honour to advance, 
He rac'd their Walls, and pull'd their Cities down, 
And he garnished his Head with a double tripple Crown, 
He thumped the French, and after home he came ; 
But St. George, St. George he made the Dragon tame : 
St. George he was for England, St. Dennis was for 

Sing, Honi soit qui maly pence. 

St. David you know loves Leeks and toasted Cheese, 
And Jason was the Man brought home the Golden Fleece, 
And Patrick you know he was St. George's Boy, 
Seven Years he kept his Horse, and then stole him away, 
For which Knavish Act, a Slave he doth remain ; 
St. George, St. George he hath the Dragon slain : 
St. George he was for England, etc. . . . 

Poldragon and Cadwallader of British Blood did boast ; 
Tho' John of Gaunt his Foes did daunt, St George shall 

rule the Roast ; 

Agamemnon, and Clemedon, at Macedon did Feats, 
But compared to our Champion, they are but meerly 

Cheats ; 
Brave Malta Knights in Turkish Fights, their brandish'd 

Swords outdrew ; 
But St. George, St. George met the Dragon, and run him 

thro 5 and thro'. 
St. George he was for England, etc. ANON 

A New Ballad of St. George and the Dragon 

(late iyth c.) 

The Only Peaceful Country 

Now warre is all the world about, 
And every where Erynnis raignes, 
Or else the Torch so late put out 
The stench remaines. 
Holland for many yeares hath beene 
Of Christian tragedies the stage, 
Yet seldome hath she play'd a Scene 
Of bloudyer rage. 

And France that was not long composed 
With civill Drummes againe resounds, 
And ere the old one fully clos'd 
Receives new wounds. 
The great Gustavus in the west 
Plucks the Imperiall Eagles wing, 
Than whom the earth did ne're invest 
A fiercer King. . . . 
What should I tell of Polish Bands, 

And the blouds boyling in the North ? 

Gainst whom the furied Russians 

Their troops bring forth. . . . 

Only the Island which wee sowe, 

(A world within the world) so farre 

From present wounds, it cannot showe 

An ancient skarre. 

White Peace (the beautiful'st of things) 

Seemes here her everlasting rest 

To fix, and spreads her downy wings 

Over the nest. 

As when great Jove usurping Reigne 

From the plagu'd world did her exile. 

And ty'd her with a golden chaine 

To one blest Isle. 

Which in a sea of plenty swamme, 

And Turtles sang on every bough, 

A safe retreat to all that came, 

As ours is now. 


Ode (1630) 
Writing in English 

I apply'd myselfe to that resolution which Ariosto follow'd 
against the perswasions of Bembo, to fix all the industry 
and art I could unite to the adorning of my native tongue; 
not to make verbal curosities the end, that were a toylsom 
vanity, but to be an interpreter and relater of the best and 
sagest things among mine own Citizens throughout this 
Hand in the mother dialect. That which the greatest and 
choycest wits of Athens, Rome, or modern Italy, and those 
Hebrews of old did for their country, I in my proportion 
with this over and above of being a Christian, might doe 


for mine : not caring to be once nam'd abroad, though 
perhaps I could attaine to that, but content with these 
British Hands as my world, whose fortune hath hitherto 
bin, that if the Athenians, as some say, made their small 
deeds great and renowned by their eloquent writers, Eng- 
landhaih had her noble achievments made small by the un- 
skilfull handling of monks and mechanicks . JOHN MILTON 

The Reason of Church-government urg'd against 

Prelaty (1641) 

British Trade 

The utmost Malice of their Stars is past, 

And two dire Comets which have scourg'd the Town, 
In their own Plague and Fire have breath'd their last : 

Or, dimly, in their sinking sockets frown. 

Me-thinks already, from this Chymick flame, 

I see a City of more precious mold : 
Rich as the Town which gives the Indies name, 

With Silver pav'd, and all divine with Gold. 

More great than human, now, and more August, 

New deified she from her Fires does rise : 
Her widening Streets, on new Foundations trust, 

And, opening, into larger parts she flies. 

Now, like a Maiden Queen, she will behold, 

From her high Turrets, hourly Sutors come : 
The East with Incense, and the West with Gold, 
Will stand, like Suppliants, to receive her Doom. 

The silver Thames,, her own domestick Floud, 

Shall bear her Vessels, like a sweeping Train ; 
And often wind (as of his Mistress proud) 

With longing eyes to meet her Face again 

The wealthy Tagus, and the wealthier Rhine, 

The glory of their Towns no more shall boast : 
And Sein, that would with Belgian Rivers join, 

Shall find her Lustre stain'd, and Traffick lost. 

The vent'rous Merchant, who design'd more far, 

And touches on our hospitable Shore, 
Charm' d with the Spendour of this Northern Star, 

Shall here unlade him, and depart no more. 

Our powerful Navy shall no longer meet, 

The wealth of France or Holland to invade : 
The beauty of this Town without a Fleet, 

From all the world shall vindicate her Trade. 

And while this fam'd Emporium we prepare, 

The British Ocean shall such Triumphs boast, 
That those who now disdain our Trade to share, 

Shall rob like Pyrats on our wealthy Coast. 

Already we have conquer'd half the War, 

And the less dang'rous part is left behind : 
Our Trouble now is but to make them dare, 

And not so great to Vanquish as to Find 



Thus to the Eastern wealth through Storms we go. 
But now, the Cape once doubled, fear no more : 
A constant Trade-wind will securely blow. 
And gently lay us on the Spicy shore. 

JOHN DRYDEN, Annus Mirdbilis (1666) 

A Fond Hope 

When Britain first at heaven's command, 
Arose from out the azure main ; 
This was the charter of the land, 
And guardian Angels sung this strain : 
" Rule, Britannia, rule the waves ; 
Britons never will be slaves." 

The nations, not so blest as thee, 
Must, in their turn, to tryants fall : 
Whilst thou shalt flourish great and free, 
The dread and envy of them all. 

Still more majestic shalt thou rise, 
More dreadful, from each foreign stroke : 
As the loud blast that tears the skies, 
Serves but to root thy native oak. 

Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame : 
All their attempts to bend thee down. 
Will but arouse thy generous flame ; 
And work their woe, and thy renown. 

To thee belongs the rural reign ; 
Thy cities shall with commerce shine : 
All thine shall be the subject main, 
And every shore it circles thine. 


The muses, still with freedom found. 

Shall to thy happy coast repair : 

Blest isle, with matchless beauty crown'd, 

And manly hearts to guard the fair. 

" Rule, Britannia, rule the waves ; 

Britons never will be slaves." 


Alfred (1740) 


Caring for the Republic 

Mind you do not suspect me of having given up my care 
for the republic. Be sure of this, Paetus, that, day and 
night, I have no other motive or anxiety but that my fellow 
citizens should be safe and free. On no occasion do I omit 
to advise, act, and look ahead. In short, I am of such a 
mind that, if in this charge and administration, my life 
should be taken, I shall consider myself to have done 
nobly. CICERO 

Letter to Paetus (43 B.C.) 

Rome shall rule 

stet Capitolium 

Fulgens triumphaatisque possit 
Roma ferox dare jura Medis. 

Horrenda late nomen in ultimas 
Extendat oras, qua medius liquor 
Secernit Europen ab Afro, 

Qua tumidus rigat arva Nilus. . . . 


Quicumque mundo terminus obstitit, 
Hunc tanget armis, visere gestiens, 
Qua parte debacchantur ignes, 
Qua nebulae pluviique rores. 

[Let the Capitol stand in glory, and let brave Rome be 
able to dictate laws to the conquered Medes. Feared far 
and wide, let her spread her name to the farthest shores, 
where the middle sea divides Europe from the African, 
where the swelling Nile waters the field. . . . Whatever 
boundary is set to the world, this she shall touch with her 
armies, rejoicing to visit both the regions where fires 
rave, and those where there are mists and rainy dews.] 

De Roma Troiaque. Carmina> Bk. Ill (c. 20 B.C.) 


We laugh at the simplicity of him who said that the moon 
at Athens was better than the moon at Corinth. 

PLUTARCH, Morals (c. 100) 


Sparta is fallen to thy lot (saith the proverbe) ; adorne and 
honour it, for so thou are bound to doe ; be it that it is 
of small or no account ; say that it is seated in an unwhole- 
some aire, and subject to many diseases ; or plagued with 
civill dissensions, or otherwise troubled. . . . 


Trans. Philemon Holland (1601) 


I have passed the world by, and I have taken history for 
my life. Now it is over. I regret nothing. I demand noth- 
ing. Ah, what should I demand, dear France, with whom 
I have lived, whom I leave with so much regret ! With 
what close companionship I have passed with you forty 
years (ten centuries). What passionate, noble, austere 
hours we have had together before dawn, even in winter ! 
What days of toil and study deep in the archives ! For you 
I worked, came and went, searched, wrote. Each day I 
gave the whole of myself, perhaps even more. Each new 
morning, finding you on my table, I felt myself one with 
you, strong with your powerful life and with your eternal 

But how is it that, having had the singular happiness of 
such a society, having lived for long years with your great 
soul, I have not profted more in myself ? Ah ! it is because, 
in order to re-create all that for you, I have had to re- 
tread the long road of misery, of cruel experiences, of a 
hundred morbid and deadly things. I have drunk too much 
bitterness. I have swallowed too many calamities, too 
many vipers, too many kings. 

Well, my great France, if it has been necessary, in order 
to find again your life, that one man should give himself, 
should pass and re-pass so many times the river of the 
dead, he consoles himself for it ; more, he thanks you. 
And his greatest grief is that he must leave you here. 


Preface to UHistoire de France (1869) 




Land of coal and iron ! Land of gold ! land of cotton, 

sugar, rice ! 
Land of wheat, beef, pork ! land of wool and hemp ! 

land of the apple and the grape ! 
Land of the pastoral plains, the grass-fields of the world ! 

land of those sweet-air'd interminable plateaus ! 
Land of the herd, the garden, the healthy house of 

adobe ! . . . 

Land of the eastern Chesapeake ! land of the Delaware ! 
Land of Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan ! 
Land of the Old Thirteen ! Massachusetts land ! Land of 

Vermont and Connecticut ! 

Land of the ocean shores ! land of sierras and peaks ! 
Land of boatmen and sailors ! fishermen's land ! . . . 
Far breath'd land ! Arctic braced ! Mexican breez'd ! the 

diverse ! the compact ! 

The Pennsylvanian ! the Virginian ! the double Carolin- 
ian ! 
O all and each well-loved by me ! my intrepid nations ! O 

I at any rate include you all with perfect love ! . . . 
Here for you ! and here for America ! 
Still the present I raise aloft, still the future of the States 

I harbinge glad and sublime, 
And for the past I pronounce what the air holds of the 

red aborigines. WALT WHITMAN 

Starting from Paumanok (1860) 

And I will report of all heroism from an American point 
of view. jud. 



I was glad when they said unto me : We wil go into the 

house of the Lord. 

Our feet shal stand in thy gates : O Hierusalem. 
Hierusalem is builded as a citie : that is a unitie in it selfe, 
For thither the tribes goe up, even the tribes of the Lord ; 

to testifie unto Israel, to give thankes unto the Name of 

the Lord. 
For there is the seate of judgement ; even the seate of the 

house of David. 
O pray for the peace of Hierusalem : they shall prosper 

that love thee. 
Peace be within thy walles : and plenteousnesse within 

thy palaces. 
For my brethren and companions sakes : I will wish thee 

Yea, because of the house of the Lord our God : I will 

seek to doe thee good. 

Psalm 122 
Trans. Miles Coverdale (1611 edition) 

By the waters of Babylon we sate downe and wept : when 

wee remembred thee O Sion. 
As for our harpes, we hanged them up : upon the trees 

that are there in. 
For they that led us away captive required of us then a 

song and melodic, in our heavinesse : sing us one of 

the songs of Sion. 

How shal we sing the Lords song : in a strange land. 


If I forget thee, O Hierusalem : let my right hand forget 

her cunning. 
If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the 

roofe of my mouth : yea, if I preferre not Hierusalem 

in my mirth. 

Ibid. Psalm 137 


Deutschland, Deutschland, iiber alles, 
Uber alles in der Welt. 

H. v. FALLERSLEBEN, Das Lied der Deutschen 

Deutsche Worte hor ich wieder 
Sei begriisst mit Herz und Hand ! 
Land der Freude, Land der Lieder, 
Schones heitres Vaterland ! 

Ibid. Heimkehr 


Bella Italia, amate sponde. 
Pur vi torno a riveder ! 
Trema in petto, e si confonde 
L'alma oppressa dal piacer, 
Tua bellezza, che di pianti 
Fonte amara ognor ti fu, 
Di stranieri e crudi amanti 
T'avea posta in servitu. 

Ma bugiarda e mal sicura 
La speranza fia de' re ; 
II giardino di natura 
No, pel barbari non e. 

VINCENZO MONTI, Marengo (1802) 


Gentlemen, remember that you are Portuguese. 

Address to troops before battle by a Portuguese 
General during Peninsular War 



I beleeve you must be carefull of your Ostridge this 
returne of cold wether, least it perish by being bredd in 
so hot a countrey and perhaps not seen snowe before or 
very seldome, so that I beleeve it must bee kept under 
covert and have strawe to sitt upon and water sett by it to 
take of both day and night ; must have it observed how it 
sleepeth and whether not with the head under the wing, 
especially in cold wether : whether it bee a wachfull and 
quick hearing bird like a goose, for it seemes to bee like 
a goose in many circumstances. It seemes to eat anything 


that a goose will feed on, and like a goose to love the same 
green hearbes and to delight in Lettuce, endive, sorrell, 
&c. ... To geese they give oates &c moystnd with beere, 
butt sometimes they are inebriated with it. If you give 
any Iron, it may be wrapped up in dowe or past : perhaps 
it will not take it up alone. You may trie whether it will 
eat a worme or a very small eele ; whether it will drinck 
milk, and observe in what manner it drincks water. . . . You 
may lay a bay leafe by the oestridge and observe whether it 
will take it up. ... When it is Anatomized, I suppose the 
sceleton will bee made and you may stuffe the skinne with 
the fethers on. ... If it delights not in salt things you 
may trie it with an olive. 


Letter to his son Edward (1681) 


Caius Hirtius was the man by himselfe, that before all 
others devised a pond to keep Lampreys in. ... In pro- 
cesse of time folk grew to have a love and cast a fancy to 
some one several! fish above the rest. For the excellent 
Orator Hortensius had an house at Bauli, upon the side 
that lieth to Baiae, and a fish-pond to it belonging : and 
he took such an affection to one Lamprey in that poole, 
that when it was dead (by report) he could not hold but 
weep for love of it. Within the same poole belonging to 
the said house, Antonia the wife of Drusus (unto whom 
they fell by inheritance) had so great a liking to another 
Lamprey, that she could find in heart to decke it, and to 
hang a paire of golden earings about the guils thereof. 


And surely for the novelty of this strange sight, and the 
name that went thereof, many folke had a desire to see 
Bauli, and for nothing else. 

PLINY THE ELDER, Natural History (c. 77) 
Trans. Philemon Holland (1601) 


Sparrow, the darling of my girl, with whom she plays, 
whom she holds in her lap, or gives you her finger to 

peck, and incites you to bite sharply 

My girl's sparrow is dead, my girl's pet, whom she 
loved more than her own eyes : for he was as sweet as 
honey, and knew her as well as a girl knows her own 
mother. Nor would he move from her lap, but hopping 
about now here now there, chirped continuously to his 
mistress only. Now he goes along the dark road to the 
place whence, they say, none returns. 

CATULLUS, Carmina (c. 60 B.C.) 

And prytily he wolde pant 
When he saw an ant. 
Lord, how he wolde prye 
After a buterflye ! 
Lord, how he wolde hoppe 
After the grassoppe ! 
And when I said Phip, Phip ! 
Than he wolde lepe and skyppe, 
And take me by the lyppe. JOHN SKELTON 
The Boke of Philipp Sparrowe (c. 1500) 

And so home and to dinner with my father and sister and 
family, mighty pleasant all of us ; and, among other things, 
with a sparrow that our Mercer hath brought up now for 
three weeks, which is so tame that it flies up and down, 
and upon the table, and eats and pecks, and do every thing 
so pleasantly, that we are mightily pleased with it. 


Diary (May 31, 1666) 


There was a little Dragon-whelp bred in Arcadia, and 
brought up familiarly with a little boy from his infancy, 
until the Boy became a young Man, and the Dragon also 
became of great stature, so that one of them loved another 
so well as Man and beast could love together, or rather 
two play-fellows from the Cradle. At last the friends of the 
Boy seeing the Dragon grow so great in so short a space, 
began to be suspicious of him ; whereupon they took the 
bed wherein the Boy and the Dragon were lodged, and 
carryed the same into a far remote place of Woods and Wil- 
dernesse, and there set down the bed with the Boy and the 
Dragon together. The boy after a little while returned, and 
came home again to his friends ; the Dragon wandered up 
and down in the Woods, feeding upon herbs and poyson, 
according to his nature, and never more cared for the 
habitation of men, but rested content with a solitary life. 
In the length of time it came to passe that the boy grew 
to be a perfect man, and the Dragon also remained in the 
Wood, and although absent one from the other, yet mutu- 
ally loving as well as ever. It hapned that this young man 


travelled through that place where the Dragon was 
lodged, and fell among theeves, when the young man saw 
their swords about his ears, he cryed out, and the Dragons 
den being not far off,, his cry came to the Dragons ears, 
who instantly knowing the voice of his play-fellow, 
answered the same with another, at whose hissing the 
theeves grew afraid, and began to run away, but their legs 
could not carry them so fast as to escape the Dragons teeth 
and claws ; for he came speedily to release his friend, and 
all the theeves that he could find, he put to cruel death, 
then did he accompany his friend out of the place of peril, 
and returned back again to his den, neither remembering 
wrath, that he was exposed to the Wildernesse, and there 
left by his play-fellow nor yet like perverse men, forsaking 
their old friends in danger. 


Natural History (c. 77) 
Trans. Philemon Holland (1601) 


Caligula . . . loved Prasinus the Cochman so wel, that for 
good wil to the master, he bid his horse to supper, gave 
him wine to drink in cups of estate, set barly graines of 
golde before him to eate, and swore by no bugs, that hee 
would make him a Consul : which thing (saith Dion) had 
bin performed, had hee not bin prevented by suddain 


The Schoole of Abuse (1579) 


Among those domesticall creatures that converse with us, 
there be many things worth the knowledge : and namely, 
as touching dogges . . . and also horses. I have heard it 
credibly reported of a dogge, that in defence of his master 
fought hard against theeves . . . and albeit he were sore 
wounded even to death, yet would he not abandon the 
dead body of his master, but drave away both wild foule 
and savage beast, from seizing of his carkasse. Also of an- 
other in Epirus, who in a great assembly of people know- 
ing the man that had murdered his Mr. flew upon him 
with open mouth, barking and snapping at him so furious- 
ly ... until he at length confessed the fact. . . . Duris makes 
mention of another dogge, which he named Hircanus, 
that so soone as the funerall fire of king Lysimachus his 
master was set a-burning, leapt into the flame. ... A 
dog that Nicomedes king of Numidia kept flew upon the 
queene Consingis his wife, and al to mangled and worried 
her, for toying and dallying overwantonly with the king 
her husband. . . . They be the only beasts of all others 
that know their masters, and let a stranger unknown be 
come never so suddenly, they are ware of his coming and 
give warning. They alone know their own names, and all 
those of the house by their speech. Be the way never so 
long, and the place from whene they came never so far, 
they remember it, and can go thither againe. . . .As furious 
and raging as they be otherwhiles, yet appeased they wil 
be and quieted, by a man sitting downe upon the ground. 
. . . The longer we live, the more things we observe and 
marke still in these dogges. . . . 

PLINY THE ELDER, Natural History (c. 77) 
Trans. Philemon Holland (1601) 

Of the Delicate, Neate, and Pretty Kind of Dogges 
called the Spaniel Gentle, or the Comforter, in 
Latine Melitoeus or Fotor 

These dogges are title, pretty, proper and fyne, and sought 
for to satisfie the delicatenesse of daintie dames, and wan- 
ton womens wills, instrumentes of folly for them to play 
and dally withall, to tryfle away the treasure of time, to 
withdraw their mindes from more commendable exercises, 
and to content their corrupted concupiscencees with vaine 
disport (a selly shift to shunne yrcksome ydlenesse) . These 
puppies the smaller they bee, the more pleasure they pro- 
voke, as more meete play fellowes for minsing mistresses 
to beare in their bosoms, to keepe company withal in their 
chambers, to succour with sleepe in bed, and nowrishe with 
meate at bourde, to lay in their lappes, and licke their 
lippes as they ryde in their waggons. . . . That plausible 
proverbe verifie upon a Tyraunt, namely that he loved 
his sowe better then his sonne, may well be applyed to 
these kinde of people who delight more in dogges that are 
deprived of all possibility of reason, then they doe in 
children that be capable of wisedome and judgement. 

JOHN CAius, Treatise of English Dogges (1570) 
Trans, from Latin by Abraham Fleming (1576) 

Of the Mastive or Bandogge . . . called 

in Latine Cam's Lunarius, in Englishe 

the Mooner 

Because he doth nothing else but watch and warde . . . 
wasting the wearisome night season without slombering 
or sleeping, bawing and yawing at the Moone ... a 
qualitie in mine opinion strange to consider. 


. . . They meet their Master with reverence and joy, 
crouching or bending a little, (like shamefast and modest 
persons) and although they know none but their Masters 
and familiars, yet will they help any man against another 
Wilde beast 

There was a Dog in Venice which had been three years 
from his Master, yet knew him again in the Market place ; 
discerning him from thousands of people present. He 
remembreth any man which giveth him meat ; when he 
fauneth upon a man he wringeth his skin in the forehead. 
. . . JElianus thinketh that Dogs have reason. . . . There 
was a Dog in Africa in a ship, which in the absence of the 
Mariners came to a pitcher of oil to eat some of it, and the 
mouth of the pot being too narrow for his head to enter in 
(because the pot was not full) he devised to cast flint stones 
into the vessel, whereby the Oil rose to the top of the Pitcher, 
and so he eat therof his fill, giving evident testimony 
thereby, that he discerned by nature, that heavy things will 
sink down and light things will rise up and flie aloft. . . . 

When a Dragon was setting upon Orpheus, as he was 
occupied in hawking, by his Dogs his life was saved, 
and the Dragon devoured. . . . 

There was never anything more strange in the nature of 
Dogs, to then that which happened at Rhodes besieged 
by the Turks, for the Dogs did there discern between 
Christians and Turks ; for towards the Turks they were most 
eager, furious and unappeasable, but towards Christians, 
although unknown, most easie, peaceable, and placidious. 

Of the Mimicky or Getulian-Dog, and the 
little Melitaean-Dogs of Gentlewomen 

There is also in England two other sorts of Dogs, . . . 
being apt to imitate all things it seeeth, for which cause 


some have thought that it was conceived by an Ape ; for 
in wit and disposition it resembleth an Ape, but in face 
sharpe and blacke like a Hedge-hog, having a short recurved 
body, very long legs, shaggie hair, and a short tail ; . . . 
these being brought up with Apes in their youth learn 
very admirable and strange feats, whereof there were great 
plenty in Egypt in the time of King Ptolemy , which were 
taught to leap and play, and dance, at the hearing of 
musick, and in many poor mens houses they served in 
stead of servants for divers uses. 

These are also used by Players and Puppet-Mimicks to 
work strange tricks, for the sight whereof they get much 
money : such an one was the Mimicks dog, of which 
Plutarch writeth that he saw in a publick spectacle at 
Rome before the Emperor Vespasian. The Dog was taught 
to act a play, wherein were contained many persons parts 
... at last there was given him a piece of bread, wherein, 
as wass said, was poison, having virtue to procure a dead 
sleep, which he received and swallowed: and presently after 
the eating thereof he began to reel and stagger to and fro 
like a drunken man, and fell down to the ground as if he 
had been dead, and so lay a good space not stirring foor nor 
limb, . . . but when he percived by the time and other 
signes that it was requisite to arise, he first opened his 
eyes, and lift up his head a little, then stretched forth him- 
self like as one doth when he riseth from sleep ; at the 
last, up he getteth and turneth to him to whom that part 
belonged, not without the joy and good content of Caesar 
and all other the beholders. . . . 

There is a Town in Pachynus, a Promontory of Sicily 
(called Melita) from whence are transported many fine 
little dogs they were accounted the Jewels of Women, but 
now the said Town is possessed by Fisher-men, and there 


is no such reckoning made of those tender little Dogs, 
for these are not bigger than common Ferrets, or Weasils, 
yet are they not small in understanding, nor mutable in 
their love to men : for which cause they are also nourished 
tenderly for pleasure. . . . 

Now a dayes they have found another breed of little 
Dogs in all Nations. . . . They are not above a foot, or 
half a foot long, and alway the lesser, the more delicate 
and precious. . . . They are of pleasant disposition and will 
leap and bite without pinching, and bark prettily, and 
some of them are taught to stand upright holding up their 
fore legs like hands ; other to fetch and carry in their 
mouths, that which is cast unto them. . . . 

Publius had a little dog (called Issa) having about the 
neck two silver bels, upon a silken Collar, which for the 
neatness thereof, seems to be rather a picture than a 
creature ; whereof Martial made an elegant epigram. 


History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents (1607) 

Beloved little Bitch 

Issa is more wicked than Catullus's sparrow, Issa is 
cleaner than a dove's kiss, Issa is more caressing than 
any girl, Issa is more precious than Indian gems, Issa is 
Publius's beloved little bitch. You think she is speaking if 
she whines ; she feels joy and grief. She lies resting on his 
neck, and sleeps so that her breathing is not heard ; and 
when impelled by the requirements of her inside, she never 
by one drop betrays the coverlet, but with coaxing paw she 
rouses and warns you to put her down from the bed, and 
asks to be taken up again. Such is the modesty of this 


chaste little dog that she knows nothing of love, nor can 
we find a husband worthy of so tender a maid. In order 
that death may not take her from his sight altogether, 
Publius has expressed her in a picture, in which you will 
see so similar an Issa that not even she herself is so like 

MARTIAL, Epigrams (c. 84) 

A little Cur-Dog 

This William (the founder of this family) had a little cur- 
dog which loved him, and the earl loved the dog. When 
the earle dyed the dog would not goe from his master's 
dead body, but pined away, and dyed under the hearse ; 
the picture of which dog is under his picture, in the 
Gallery at Wilton. Which putts me in mind of a parallell 
storie in Appian (Syrian Warr) : Lysimachus being 
slaine, a dog that loved him stayed a long time by the 
body and defended it from birds and beasts till such time 
as Thorax, king of Pharsalia, finding it out gave it buriall. 


Brief Lives : William Herbert^ ist Earl of Pembroke 


He is a full lecherous beast in youth, swift, pliant, and 
merrie, and leapeth and reseth on althing that is to 
fore him : and is led by a straw, and playeth therewith : 
and is a right heavie beast in age and full sleepy, and lieth 
slily in wait for mice : and is ware they be, more by smell 
than by sight, and hunteth and reseth on them in privy 

places : and when he taketh a mouse, he plaieth there- 
with, and eateth him after the play And they maketh 

a ruthful noise and gastful, when one proffereth to fight 
with another. *> 

BARTHOLOMEW ANGLicus, De Proprietatibus Rerum 
Trans. John Trevisa (13983 modernized 1582) 

Turkic Gentlewomen, that are perpetuall prisoners, still 
mewed up according to the custome of the place, have 
little else beside their household businesse, or to play with 
their children, to drive away time, but to dally with their 
cats, which they have in delictis, as many of our Ladies 
and Gentlewomen use Monkies and little Doggs. 


The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 


Their watch and warde is good and gainfull, being indeed 
better than that of the dogge, as hath beene shewed long 
agoe by the geese of the Capitoll in Rome, who awaking 
the souldiers and standing watch, were the cause that the 
enimie was repulsed and driven backe : againe, she 
declareth when winter draweth nigh by her continuall 
squeaking and crying, she layeth egges, hatcheth goslings, 
affoordeth feathers twise a yeere for the bed, for writing, 
and for shaftes, which are gathered at the spring and 


CHARLES ESTIENNE, La Maison Rustique (1572) 
Trans. Richard Surflet (1600) 


The householder shall make choice for the keeping of his 
bees of some fit and secret place in his Garden of Pleasure, 
in the bottome of some valley if it be possible, to the end 
they may the more easily rise on high to fly abroad to get 
their food, as also for that when they be laden, they 
descend the more easily downward with their load. But 
let us see to it especially that the place be open to the 
South sun, and yet notwithstanding, neither exceeding 
in heat nor in cold, but temperate ; and that the same by 
hill, wall, or some other rampart be defended from windes 
and tempests, and so also as that they may flie their 
sundrie and severall waies for to get diversitie of pastures, 
and so againe may returne to their little cottages laden 
with their composition of hony ; and againe in such a 
place, as wherein there is great quantitie of thyme, organic, 
ivie, winter savorie, wild thyme, rosemary, sage, corne- 
flag or gladdon, gilleflowres, violets, white lilies, roses, 
flowre-gentill, basil, saffron, beanes, poppie, melilot, 
milfoile and other sweet herbs. 



Puss grew presently familiar, would leap into my lap, 
raise himself upon his hinder feet, and bite the hair from 
my temples. ... He was ill three days, during which time 
I nursed him . . . and by constant care and trying him with 
a variety of herbs, restored him to perfect health. No 
creature could be more grateful than my patient after 
Rp 513 

his recovery ; a sentiment which he most significantly 
expressed, by licking my hand. ... It was visible, from 
many symptoms which I have not room to enumerate, 
that he was happier in human society than when shut 
up with his natural companions. . . . You will not wonder. 
Sir, that my intimate acquaintance with these specimens 
of their kind has taught me to hold the sportsman's 
amusement in abhorrence : he little knows what amiable 
creatures he persecutes, of what gratitude they are capable, 
how cheerful they are in their spirits, what enjoyment 
they have of life, and that, impressed as they seem with a 
peculiar dread of man, it is only because man gives them 
peculiar cause for it. WILLIAM COWPER 

Letter to the Gentleman's Magazine (June 1784) 


Lord B.'s establishment consists, besides servants, of 
ten horses, eight enormous dogs, five cats, an eagle, a 
crow, and a falcon ; and all these, except the horses, walk 
about the house, which every now and then resounds with 
their unarbitrated quarrels, as if they were the masters 
of it. . . . 

After I have sealed my letter, I find that my enumera- 
tion of the animals in this Circaean palace was defective, 
and that in a material point. I have just met on the grand 
stair-case five peacocks, two guinea-hens, and an Egyptian 
crane. I wonder who all these animals were, before they 
were changed into these shapes. 


Letter to Thomas Love Peacock (Ravenna, 1821) 


Neither can I but admire what I find recorded in the 
historic of the Netherlands, of a Sea-woman who was 
taken up in the streights of a broken dike near to the 
towns of Campen and Edam, brought thither by a sea- 
tempest and high tide, where floating up and down and 
not finding a passage out again (by reason that the breach 
was stopped after the floud) was espied by certain women 
and their servants as they went to milk their kine in the 
neighbouring pastures, who at the first were afraid of her, 
but seeing her often they resolved to take her, which they 
did ; and bringing her home, she suffered her self to be 
clothed, fed with bread, milk, and other meats, and would 
often strive to steal again into the sea, but being carefully 
watched she could not : moreover she learned to spinne, 
and perform other pettie offices of women, but at the first 
they cleaned her of the sea-mosse which did stick about 
her. She was brought from Edam and kept at Harlam, 
where she would obey her mistris, and (as she was taught) 
kneel down with her before the crucifix, never spake, but 
lived dumbe and continued alive (as some say) fifteen 
years ; then she died. This is credibly reported by the 
Authour of that history, by the writer of the Chronicles 
of Holland, and in a book called the Theatre of cities. 
They took her in the yeare of our Lord 1403. 

Speculum Mundi (1635) 




The Play-House is an inchanted Island, where nothing 
appears in reality what is, nor what should be. 'Tis 
frequented by persons of all degrees and equalities whatso- 
ever, that have a great deal of idle time lying upon their 
hands and can't tell how to employ it worse. Here Lords 
come to laugh, and to be laughed at for being there, and 
seeing their qualities ridicul'd by every triobolary poet. 
Knights come hither to learn the amorous Smirk, the 
alamode Grin, the antick Bow, the new-fashioned 
Cringe, and how to adjust their Phiz. . . . Hither come the 
Country- Gentlemen to shew their shapes, and trouble the 
Pit with their Impertinence about Hawking, Hunting, 
their handsome Wives, and their Housewifery. . . . Here 
the Ladies come to shew their Cloathes. 


Amusements Serious and Comicall (1700) 


" Bear me, some God, O quickly bear me hence, 
To wholesome solitude, the nurse of " 

" Sense," I was going to add in the words of Pope, till I 
recollected that pence had a more appropriate meaning, 
and was as good a rhyme. This apostrophe broke from me 
on coming from the opera, the first I ever did., the last I 
trust I ever shall go to. For what purpose has the Lord of 
the universe made His creature man with a comprehen- 
sive mind ? Why make him a little lower than the angels ? 
Why give him the faculty of thinking, the power of wit and 
memory; and, to crown all, an immortal and never-dying 
spirit ? Why all this wondrous waste, this prodigality of 
bounty, if the mere animal senses of sight and hearing (by 
which he is not distinguished from the brutes that perish) 
would have answered the end as well ; and yet I find the 
same people are seen at the opera every night an amuse- 
ment written in a language the greater part of them do not 
understand, and performed by such a set of beings ! . . . 
Going to the Opera, like getting drunk, is a sin that carries 
its own punishment with it, and that a very severe one. 


Letter to her Sister (1775) 


MELLEFONT : But does your Lordship never see Comedies ? 
LORD FROTH : O yes, sometimes But I never laugh. 
MEL.: No? 

LORD F. : Oh no, Never laugh indeed, Sir. 
CARELESS : No ! why what d'ye go there for ? 
LORD F. : To distinguish myself from the Commonalty, 


and mortitie the Poets ; the Fellows grow so conceited, 
when any of their foolish Wit prevails upon the Side- 
Boxes. I swear he, he, he, I have often constrained my 
inclination to laugh he, he, he, to avoid giving them 


The Double-Dealer (1694) 


From the first age the Theater hath bin, 
Even like a trap to take faire wenches in. 
Frequent the Tilt-yard, for there oft-times are 
Clusters of people thronging at the barre. 
Thou shalt not need there with thy fingers beckon, 
Of winking signes, or close nods doe not reckon : 
But where thy Mistris sits doe thou abide, 
Who shall forbid thee to attaine her side, 
As neare as the place suffers see thou get, 
That none betwixt thee and her selfe beset : 
If thou beest mute and bashfull, I will teach 
How to begin, and breake the ice of speech. 
Aske whose that horse was, what he was did guide 


Whence comes he, if he well or ill did ride him. 
Which in the course of barriers best did do, 
And whom she likes, him doe thou favour to. 


Art of Love (2 B.C.) 
Trans. Thomas Hey wood (1600 ?) 


In our assemblies at playes in London, you shall see suche 
heaving and shooving, suche ytching and shouldring, to 
sitte by women; Suche care for their garments, that they 
bee not trode on ; Such eyes to their lappes, that no chippes 
light in them : Such pillowes to their backes, that they take 
no hurte : Such masking in their eares, I knowe not what : 
Such giving them Pippins to passe the time : Suche 
playing at foote Saunt without Gardes : Such ticking, 
such toying, such smiling, such winking, and such man- 
ning them home, when the sportes are ended, that it is a 
right Comedie, to marke their behaviour, to watche their 


The Schoole of Abuse (1579) 



The doctor then proposed that I should be removed into 
the prison infirmary ; and this proposal was granted. . . . 
The infirmary was divided into four wards, with as many 
small rooms attached to them . . . and one of these, not 
very providently (for I had not yet learned to think of 
money) I turned into a noble room. I papered the walls 


with a trellis of roses ; I had the ceiling coloured with 
clouds and sky ; the barred windows I screened with 
Venetian blinds ; and when my bookcases were set up 
with their busts, and flowers and a pianoforte made their 
appearance, perhaps there was not a handsomer room on 
that side the water. . . . Charles Lamb declared there 
was no other such room, except in a fairy tale. 

But I possessed another surprise ; which was a garden. 
There was a little yard outside the room, railed off from 
another belonging to the neighbouring ward. This yard 
I shut in with green palings, adorned it with a trellis, 
bordered it with a thick bed of earth from a nursery, and 
even contrived to have a grass-plot. The earth I filled 
with flowers and young trees. There was an apple-tree, 
from which we managed to get a pudding the second 
year. As to my flowers, they were allowed to be perfect. 
Thomas Moore, who came to see me with Lord Byron, 
told me he had seen no such heart's-ease. I bought the 
Parnaso Italiano while in prison, and used often to think of 
a passage in it while looking at this miniature piece of 
horticulture : Here I wrote and read in fine weather, some- 
times under an awning. In autumn, my trellises were 
hung with scarlet-runners, which added to the flowery 
investment. I used to shut my eyes in my arm-chair, and 
affect to think myself hundreds of miles off. ... 

I entered prison the 3rd of February 1813, and removed 
to my new apartments the i6th of March, happy to get 
out of the noise of the chains. When I sat amidst my 
books, and saw the imaginary sky overhead, and my paper 
roses about me, I drank in the quiet at my ears as if they 
were thirsty. . . . 

These rooms, and the visits of my friends, were the bright 
side of my captivity. . . . My friends were allowed to be 


with me till ten o'clock at night Even William Hazlitt, 

who there first did me the honour of a visit, would stand 
interchanging amenities at the threshold. . . . The Lambs 
came to comfort me in all weathers, hail or sunshine, in 
daylight and in darkness, even in the dreadful frost and 
snow of the beginning of 1814. 


Autobiography (1850) 


Sir Walter was left to his Majesties mercy, who thought 
him too great a Malecontent to have his Freedom, and 
probably too innocent to lose his Life. Therefore to the 
Tower he is confin'd, but permitted to enjoy Libera 
Custodia ; where he improv'd his Imprisonment to the 
greatest advantage of Learning and Inquisitive Men. Since 
his Majesty had civilly buried him, and as it were banish'd 
him this World, he thought it no Treason to disturb 
the Ashes of former times, and bring to view the Actions 
of deceased Heroes. . . . After some time past there, he 
was delivered of that great Minerva, the History of the 
World ; a Book which for the exactness of its Chronology, 
Curiousness of its Contexture and Learning of all sorts, 
seems to be the Work of an Age. An History which never 
yet met with a Detractor, and was the Envy, if some 
Authors may be credited, of King James himself, who 
thought none could out-do him at the Pen. 


(Prefaced to 1687 edition of the History of 

the World) 


When Acrisius inquired of the oracle how he should get 
male children, the god said that his daughter would give 
birth to a son who would kill him. Fearing that, Acrisius 
built a brazen chamber under ground, and there imprisoned 
Danae. However, she was seduced, some say by Proteus 
. . . but some say that Zeus had intercourse with her in 
the shape of a stream of gold which poured through the 
roof. When Acrisius afterwards learned that she had got a 
child Perseus, he would not believe that she had been 
seduced by Zeus. 


The Library (c. ist Century A.D.) 


In prison Boethius composed his work on the Consolations 
of Philosophy ; and Grotius wrote his Commentary on 
Saint Matthew, with other works. . . . 

Buchanan, in the dungeons of a monastery in Portugal, 
composed his excellent Paraphrases of the Psalms of 

Cervantes composed the most agreeable book in the 
Spanish language during his captivity in Barbary. . . . 

Louis the Twelfth, when Duke of Orleans, was long 
imprisoned in the Tower of Bourges : applying himself 
to his studies, which he had hitherto neglected, he 
became, in consequence, an enlightened monarch. 

Margaret, queen of Henry the Fourth, King of France, 

confined in the Louvre, pursued very warmly the studies 
of elegant literature, and composed a very skilful apology 
for the irregularities of her conduct. . . . 

The plan of the Henriade was sketched, and the greater 
part composed, by Voltaire during his imprisonment in 
the Bastile ; and the Pilgrim's Progress of Bunyan was 
performed in the circuit of a prison's walls. 

Howell, the author of Familiar Letters, wrote the chief 
part of them, and almost all his other works, during his 
long confinement in the Fleet prison. . . . 

Lydiat, while confined in the King's Bench for debt, 
wrote his Annotations on the Parian Chronicle, which 
were first published by Prideaux. . . . 

The learned Selden, committed to prison for his 
attacks on the divine right of tithes and the king's prerog- 
ative, prepared during his confinement his History of 
Eadmer> enriched by his notes. 

Freret, when imprisoned in the Bastile, was permitted 
only to have Bayle for his companion. His dictionary was 
always before him, and his principles were got by heart. 
To this circumstance we owe his works, animated by all 
the powers of scepticism. 

Sir Willian Davenant finished his poem of Gondibert 
during his confinement by the rebels in Carisbrook 
Castle. . . . 

De Foe, confined in Newgate for a political pamphlet, 
began his " Review," a periodical paper. . . . 

Wicquefort's curious work " On Ambassadors " is 
dated from his prison, where he had been confined for 
state affairs. He softened the rigour of those heavy hours 
by several historical works. 

Curiosities of Literature (1791-1823) 



I now write to you from my Confinement in Newgate, 
where I have been since Monday last was sennight, and 
where I enjoy myself with much more Tranquillity than 
I have known for upwards of a Twelvemonth past ; 
having a Room intirely to myself, pursuing the Amuse- 
ments of my Poetical Studies, uninterrupted, and agreeably 
to my mind. I thank the Almighty, I am now all collected 
in myself ; and though my Person is in Confinement, my 
Mind can expatiate on ample and useful Subjects with all 
the freedom imaginable. I am now more conversant with 
the Nine than ever ; and if instead of a Newgate Bird, I 
may be allow'd to be a Bird of the Muses, I assure you, 
Sir, I sing very freely in my Cage ; somtimes indeed in the 
Plaintive notes of the Nightinghale ; but at others in the 
cheerfull strains of the Lark. 


Letter to a Friend (1743) 


The publisher of a Leyden Gazette, who had printed a 
satire on Louis XIV, was secretly seized in Holland, 
brought away from thence, and shut up in a cage at St. 
Michael. . . . This cage was ... of strong bars of wood. 
. . . On some of the bars were figures and landscapes, 
which are said to have been cut by this unhappy man 
with his nails. 

Anecdotes (1826) 


Grotius having taken part in the political disputes which 
agitated his native country in the early part of the iyth 
century, was condemned to imprisonment for life in the 
Castle of Louvestein. The malice of his persecutors was, 
however, fortunately disappointed by the ingenuity of 
his wife. Having obtained permission to remove some 
books from the prison, she sent a large chest for the 
purpose ; but instead of books, she deposited a more 
valuable treasure, the illustrious Grotius himself; and 
... he was thus enabled to make his escape. 

Nothing more strongly marks the genius and fortitude of 
Grotius than the manner in which he employed his time 
during his imprisonment. ... He resumed his law 
studies, which other employments had interrupted. He 
gave a portion of his time to moral philosophy, which 
induced him to translate the ancient poets collected by 
Stoboeus, and the fragments of Menander and Philemon. 
Every Sunday was devoted to reading the Scriptures, and 
to writing his Commentaries on the New Testament. . . . 
He composed his treatise in Dutch verse on the Truth of 
the Christian Religion. Sacred and profane authors oc- 
cupied him alternately. . , 


You can't imagine, my friend, the charm of a prison, 
where one has only to account to one's own heart for the 
employment of one's time. No tiresome distractions, no 


troublesome sacrifices, no petty cares, none of those duties 
. . . none of those conflicts of law and social prejudice 
with the dearest inspirations of one's nature. No jealous 
eye spies on the expression of what one feels, or on the 
occupation one has chosen ; no-one suffers from one's 
melancholy or from one's inactivity ; no-one expects 
effort from one, or exacts sentiments which are not at 
one's command. Given up to oneself, to truth, without 
obstacles to conquer or battles to sustain, one can, with- 
out wounding the rights or the affections of any one at 
all, abandon one's soul to its own integrity, find again 
one's moral independence on the breast of a seeming 
captivity, and exercise it with a fullness from which social 
encounters almost always detract. I was not even allowed 
to seek that independence, and to relieve myself thus of 
the charge of the happiness of another . . . events have 
procured for me that which I could not have obtained 
without a sort of crime. How I cherish the irons in which 
I am free to love you with undivided mind, and to occupy 
myself with you all the time ! Here, all other obligation is 
superseded ; I owe myself only to him who loves me, and 
deserves so well to be loved. Follow your career generous- 
ly, serve your country, save liberty ; all your actions are 
a joy to me, and your career is my triumph. ... I thank 
heaven for having substituted my present chains for 
those which I wore before. ... If I am to gain no more, 
let me keep this situation until my complete deliverance 
from a world given over to injustice and misfortune. . . . 
I have better air here than at the Abbaye, and I can go, 
when I choose, into the pleasant appartment of the Con- 
cierge. ... I usually stay in my cell. It is large enough to 
contain a chair beside the bed. At a little table I read, 
draw and write, your portrait on my breast or under my 


eyes. I thank heaven for having known you, for having 
let me taste the inexpressible happiness of loving, and of 
being loved with that generosity, that delicacy, which 
vulgar souls will never know, and which are above all their 
pleasures. . . . 

Goodbye, man the most loved by the most loving 

Letter to Francois Buzot 
(Prison of Sainte-Pelagie, 1793) 


In prison, as elsewhere, Madame Roland beguiled her 
leisure with books and flowers. Tacitus was then her 
favourite author, and her consciousness of her own talents 
made her conceive the idea of writing the annals of France, 
but this plan did not materialise. j REVENEL 

Introduction to Memoir es de Mme Roland (1840) 


Mr Ryland, the artist, who was executed in 1789 for 
forgery, so conciliated the friendship of the governor of 
Tothill Fields Bridewell, where he was confined, that he 
not only had the liberty of the whole house and garden, 
but when the other prisoners were locked up of an 
evening the governor used to take him out with him, and 
range the fields to a considerable distance. 


Anecdotes (1826) 


The Marquis de la Fayette and several French officers . . . 
were long confined in the castle of Olmutz. . . . Their 
apartments were so constructed that they were within 
hearing of each other when standing at the windows of 
their respective chambers. . . . There is at Paris a number 
of tunes called the airs of the Pont de Neuf, or those 
popular ballads that were sung at the corners of the streets. 
To strike up a few of the notes was to recall to memory 
the words that accompanied them. The captives of Olmutz 
gradually composed for themselves a vocal vocabulary, by 
whistling these notes at their windows ; and this vocabu- 
lary, after a short time, became so complete, and even rich, 
that two or three notes from each air formed their alphabet 
and effected their intercourse. By this means they com- 
municated news to each other concerning their families, 
the progress of the war etc ; and when, by good fortune, 
one of them had procured a gazette, he whistled the con- 
tents of it to his partners in suffering. 


He was a close prisoner in the Tower, tempore regis 
Jacobi, for speaking too boldly in the Parliament House of 
the king's profuse liberality to the Scots. He made a com- 
parison of a conduit, whereinto water came, and ran-out 
afarre-off. " Now," said he, " this pipe reaches as far as 
Edinborough." He was kept a close prisoner there, i.e., 
his windowes were boarded up. Through a small chinke 
he sawe once a crowe, and another time, a kite ; the sight 


whereof, he sayd, was a great pleasure to him. He, with 
much adoe, obtained at length the favour to have his little 
son Bennet to be with him ; and he then made this distich, 
viz : 

Parvule, dum puer es, nee scis incommoda linguae, 
Vincula da linguae, vel tibi vincla dabit. 


Brief Lives : John Hoskyns (c. 1680) 


When love with unconfined wings 
Hovers within my gates ; 
And my divine Althea brings 
To whisper at the grates ; 
When I lye tangled in her haire, 
And fettered to her eye, 
The birds, that wanton in the aire, 
Know no such liberty. 

When flowing cups run swiftly round 
With no allaying Thames^ 
Our carelesse heads with roses bound, 
Our hearts with loyal flames ; 
When thirsty grief in wine we steepe, 
When healths and draughts go free, 
Fishes, that tipple in the deepe, 
Know no such libertie. 

When (like committed linnets) I 
With shriller throat shall sing 
The sweetnes, mercy, majesty, 
And glories of my King. 

When I shall voyce aloud, how good 
He is, how great should be, 
Inlarged winds, that curie the flood, 
Know no such liberty. 

Stone walls doe not a prison make, 

Nor iron bars a cage ; 

Mindes innocent and quiet take 

That for an hermitage ; 

If I have freedome in my love, 

And in my soule am free, 

Angels alone that sore above 

Enjoy such liberty. 


To Althea. From Prison (1642) 


Shut up Close-Prisner in Mount-Orgueil Pile., 

A lofty Castle, within Jersie Isle, 

Remote from Friends, neere three years space, 

where I 

Had Rockes, Seas, Gardens, dayly in mine Eye, 
Which I oft viewed with no small delight. 
These pleasing Objects did at last invite 
Me to contemplate in more solemnewise 
What usefull Meditations might arise 
From each of them, my soule to warme, feast, 


And unto God, Christ, Heaven, mount more neare. 
In which pursuite, I found such inward Joyes, 
Such Cordiall Comforts, as did over-poise 

My heaviest Crosses, Losses, and supply 
The want of all Foes did me then deny ; 
Give me assurance of a sweete Returne 
Both from my Exile, Prison, and mine Urne : 
Revive my cold dead Muse, and it inspire 
Though not with brightest, yet with Sacred fire. 


Mount-Orgueil, or Divine and Profitable Meditations, 
Raised from the Contemplation of these three Leaves of 
Natures Volume, Rockes, Seas, Gardens 


This Lord Middleton had a great Friendship with the 
Laird Bocconi, and they had made an Agreement, that the 
first of them that Died should appear to the other in 
Extremity. The Lord Middleton was taken Prisoner at 
Worcester Fight, and was Prisoner in the Towre of London, 
under Three Locks. Lying in his Bed pensive, Bocconi 
appear'd to him ; my Lord Middleton asked him if he 
were dead or alive ? he said, Dead, and that he was a 
Ghost ', and told him, that within Three Days he should 
escape, and he did soe, in his Wife's Cloaths. When he 
had done his Message, he gave a Frisk, and said, 

Givenni, Givanni, 'tis very strange, 

In the World to see so sudden a Change. 

And then gathered up and vanished. 

Apparitions (Miscellanies) (1696) 



When we were come to Bridewell, we were not put up into 
the great Room in which we had been before : but into a 
low Room, in another fair Court, which had a Pump in the 
Middle of it. And here, we were not shut up as before : 
but had the Liberty of the Court, to walk in ; and of the 
Pump, to wash or drink at. And, indeed, we might easily 
have gone quite away, if we would ; there was a Passage 
through the Court into the Street : but we were true and 
steady prisoners, and looked upon this Liberty arising from 
their Confidence in us, to be a kind of par oil upon us ; so 
that both Conscience and Honour stood now engaged for 
our true imprisonment. . . . 

And this Priviledge we enjoyed, by the Indulgence of 
our Keeper, whose Heart God disposed to Favour us : so 
that both the Master and his Porter were very civil, and 
kind to us, and had been so indeed all along. For when we 
were shut up before, the Porter would readily let some of 
us go home in an Evening, and stay at Home till next 
Morning, which was a great Conveniency. . . . 

Under this easie Restraint, we lay till the Court sate at 
the Old-Baily again. THOMAS ELLWOOD 

History of his Life (1714) 


Art in prison ? Make right use of it. . . . Where may a man 
contemplate better than in solitarinesse or study more 
than in quietnesse ? . . . Severinus Boethius never writ so 
elegantly as in prison, Paul so devoutly, for most of his 


Epistles were dictated in his bands ; It brings many a 
lewd riotous fellow home, many wandering rogues it 
settles, that would otherwise have been like raving Tygers, 
ruined themselves and others. ROBERT BURTON 

The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 


An officer was confined in the Bastile ; he begged the 
governor to permit him the use of his lute. . . . After a few 
days, this modern Orpheus . . . was greatly astonished to 
see frisking out of their holes great numbers of mice, and 
descending from their woven habitations crowds of 
spiders, who formed a circle about him. ... He was petri- 
fied with astonishment. Having ceased to play, the as- 
sembly . . . immediately broke up. As he had a great dis- 
like to spiders, it was two days before he ventured again 
to touch his instrument. At length ... he recommenced 
his concert, when the assembly was far more numerous 
than at first. Having thus succeeded in attracting this 
company, he ... begged the keeper to give him a cat, 
which he ... let loose at the very instant when the little 
hairy people were most entranced. ISAAC DISRA ELI 

Curiosities of Literature (1792-1817) 


And as for the Bastile ! flie terror is in the word Make 

the most of it you can, said I to myself, the Bastile is but 


another word for a tower and a tower is but another word 

for a house you can't get out of . . . but with nine 

lives a day, and pen and ink and paper and patience, 
albeit a man can't get out, he may do very well within 
at least for a month or six weeks. 

LAURENCE STERNE, A Sentimental Journey (1768) 


He said, " No man will be a sailor who has contrivance 
enough to get himself into a jail. ... A man in a jail has 
more room, better food, and commonly better company." 

JAMES BOSWELL, Life of Johns on (1791) 



In April, and the springtime, his lorship [Bacon] would, 
when it rayned, take his coach (open) to receive the benefit 
of irrigation, which he was wont to say was very wholsome 
because of the nitre in the aire and the universall spirit of 
the world. 

JOHN AUBREY, Brief Lives : Francis Bacon (c. 1680) 



But the most pleasant of all outward pastimes is ... to 
make a pretty progresse, a merry journy now and then 
with some good companions, to visit friends, see citties, 
Castles, Townes, . . . 

To see the pleasant fields, the christall fountaines, 
And take the gentle air among the mountaines : 

To walke amongst Orchards, Gardens, Bowres, Mounts, 
and Arbors, artificiall wildrenesses, greene thickets, Arches, 
Groves, Lawnes, Rivulets, Fountaines, and such like 
pleasant places . . . Brooks, Pooles, Fishponds, betwixt 
wood and water, in a faire meadow, by a river-side ... to 
disport in some pleasant plaine parke, run up a steepe 
hill sometimes, or sit in a shady seat, must needs be a 
delectable recreation. . . . S. Bernard, in the description 
of his Monastery, is almost ravished with the pleasure of 
it. A sicke man (saith he) sits upon a greene banke, and when 
the dog-starre parcheth the Plaines, and dries up rivers, he 
lies in a shadie bowre, . . . and feeds his eyes with variety of 
objects, hearbs, trees ; to comfort his misery, hee receaves 
many delightsome smells, and fills his ears with that sweet 
and various harmony of Birds : Good God (saith he) what 
a company of pleasures hast thou made for man ! 


The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 



Bookes are delightful! ; but if by continuall frequenting 
them, we in the end lose both health and cheerfulnesse 
(our best parts) let us leave them. I am one of those who 
thinke their fruit can no way counter vaile this losse. 


Trans. John Florio (1603) 


There is a kind of Bird in America, that yields such a 
light, you may read by it in the darkest night. 

B. DE FONTENELLE, A Plurality of Worlds 
Trans. John Glanvill (1688) 


A Spanish author says, that if a person should come to 
his bishop to ask for leave to read the Bible . . . the bishop 
should answer him from Matthew, ch. xx. v. 20, " You 


know not what you ask." And indeed, he observes the 
nature of this demand indicates an heretical disposition. 

The reading of the Bible was prohibited by Henry VIII, 
except by those who occupied high offices in the state ; 
a noble lady or gentlewoman might read it in " their 
garden or orchard " or other retired places ; but men 
and women in the lower ranks were positively forbidden 
to read it, or to have it read to them, under the penalty 
of a month's imprisonment. ISAAC DISRAELI 

Curiosities of Literature (1791-1823) 


.... the smooth Elegiack Poets . . . whom both for the 
pleasing sound of their numerous writing, which in imita- 
tion I found most easie, and most agreeable to natures part 
in me and for their matter ... I was so allur'd to read, 
that no recreation came to me better welcome. ... If I 
found those authors anywhere speaking unworthy things 
of themselves, or unchaste of those names which before 
they had extolled, this effect it wrought with me, from 
that time forward their art I still applauded, but the men 
I deplor'd ; . . . Next (for heare me out now Readers) 
that I may tell ye whether my younger feet wander'd ; I 
betook me among those lofty Fables and Romances, which 
recount in solemn canto's the deeds of Knighthood. . . . 
So that even those books which to many others have bin 
the fuell of wantonnesse and loose living, I cannot thinke 
how unlesse by divine indulgence, prov'd to me so many 
incitements as you have heard, to the love and stedfast 
observation of that vertue which abhorres the society of 


bordello's. Thus from the Laureat fraternity of Poets, riper 
yeares and the ceaselesse round of study and reading led 
me to the shady spaces of philosophy, but chiefly to the 
divine volumes of Plato, and his equall Xenephon. Where if 
I should tell ye what I learnt of chastity and love, I meane 
that which is truly so, whose charming cup is only vertue, 
which she bears in her hand to those who are worthy. . . . 


An Apology against a Pamphlet calFd A Modest Con- 
futation of the Animadversions upon the Remonstrant 
against Smectymnuus (1642) 


Parthenissa is now my company, my Brother sent it 
downe, and I have almost read it. Tis handsome language. 
You would know it to be writt by a person of good quality 
though you were not tolde it, but on the whole I am not 
very much taken with it, the Story's have too neer a 
resemblance with those of other Romances, there's 
nothing of new or surprenant in them, the Ladys are all 
soe kinde they make no sport, and I meet only with one 
that tooke mee by doing a handsome thing. . . . She was 
in a beseiged Towre, and perswaded all those of her sexe 
to go out with her to the Enemy (which were a barbarous 
People) and dye by theire swordes, that the provisions of 
the Towne might last the longer for such as were able to 
doe service in defending it. But how angry was I to see 
him spoile this againe, by bringing out a letter this woman 
left behinde her for the Governour of the Towne, where 
she discovers a passion for him and makes that the reason 
why she did it. I confesse I have no patience with our 


faiseurs de Roman, when they make women court. It will 
never enter my head that tis possible any woman can Love 
where she is not first Loved, and much lesse that if they 
should doe that, they could have the face to owne it. ... 
Another fault I finde too is the stile, tis affected. . . . But 
perhaps I like it the worse for having a peece of Cyrus 
by mee, that I am hugely pleased with, and that I would 
faine have you read, i'le send it you. . . . 


Letter to Sir William Temple (1654) 


JULIA has buried her Husband, and married her Daugh- 
ters, since that she spends her time in reading. She is 
always reading foolish and unedifying Books : She tells you 
every time she sees you, that she is almost at the End of 
the silliest Book, that ever she read in her life ; that the 
best of it is, it is very long, and serves to dispose of a good 
deal of her time. She tells you that all Romances are sad 
Stuff, yet is very impatient till she can get all that she 
can hear of. Histories of Intreague and Scandal are the 
Books that Julia thinks are always too short. If Julia was 
to drink Drams in private, and had no Enjoyment of her 
self without them, she would not tell you this, because 
she knows it would be plainly telling you that she was 
a poor disordered Sot. Sec here therefore the Weakness of 
Julia ; she would not be thought to be a Reprobate, yet 
she lets you know that she lives upon Folly, and Scandal, 
and Impertinence, in her Closet, that she cannot be in 
private without them, that they are the only Support of 


her dull Hours, and yet she does not perceive, that this 
is as plainly telling you, that she is in a miserable, dis- 
ordered, reprobate State of Mind. 

WILLIAM LAW, Christian Perfection (1726) 


Oh Richardson ! remarkable genius ! thou shalt always 
form my reading. If compelled by bitter necessity . . . 
if my means are insufficient to educate my children, I 
will sell my books, but thou shalt remain ! yes, thou shalt 
rest in the same class with Moses, Homer, Euripides, and 
Sophocles, to be read turn by turn. DENIS DIDEROT 


I never saw Johnson really angry with me but once. I 
alluded to some witty passages in Tom Jones, he replied, 
" I am shocked to hear you quote from so vicious a book. 
I am sorry to hear you have read it ; a confession which 
no modest lady should ever make. I scarcely know a 
more corrupt work ! " He went so far as to refuse to 
Fielding the great talents which are ascribed to him, and 
broke out into a noble panegyric on his competitor, 
Richardson ; who, he said, was as superior to him in 
talents as in virtue ; and whom he pronounced to be the 
greatest genius that had shed its lustre on this path of 


HANNAH MORE, Memoirs (1780) 



Fielding being mentioned, Johnson exclaimed, " he was 
a blockhead " ; and upon my expressing my astonishment 
at so strange an assertion, he said, " What I mean by his 
being a blockhead is that he was a barren rascal." BOS- 
WELL. " Will you not allow, Sir, that he draws a very 
natural picture of human life ? " JOHNSON. " Why, 
Sir, it is of very low life. Richardson used to say, that had 
he not known who Fielding was, he should have believed 
him to be an ostler. Sir, there is more knowledge of the 
heart in one letter of Richardson's, than in all Tom Jones. 
. . . ERSKINE. " Surely, Sir, Richardson is very tedious." 
JOHNSON. " Why, Sir, if you were to read Richardson 
for the story, your patience would be so much fretted 
that you would hang yourself. But you must read him for 
the sentiment, and consider the story as only giving occa- 
sion to the sentiment." 

JAMES BOSWELL, Life of Johns on (1792) 


Jan. 13^, 1668. Stopped at Martin's, my bookseller, 
where I saw the French book which I did think to have 
had for my wife to translate, called " L'escholle des filles," 
but when I come to look in it, it is the most bawdy lewd 
book that ever I saw, ... so that I was ashamed of reading 
it, and so away home. 

Feb. 8/A. To my bookseller's, and there staid an hour, and 
bought the idle rogueish book, " L'escholle des filles " ; 


which I have bought in plain binding, avoiding the buying 
of it better bound, because I resolve, as soon as I have read 
it, to burn it, that it may not stand in the list of books, 
nor among them, to disgrace them if it should be found. 

Feb. gth (Lord's Day). I to my chamber, where I did read 
through " L'escholle des filles," a lewd book, but what 
do no wrong once to read for information sake. . . . And 
after I had done it I burned it, that it might not be among 
my books to my shame, and so at night to supper and to 



I have spent a stupid day in reading the Abbe de Sade's 
Memoirs of Petrarch. What a feeble whipster was this 
Petrarch, with all his talents ! To go dangling about, for 
the space of twenty years, puffing and sighing after a little 
coquette, whose charms lay chiefly in the fervour of his 
own imagination, and the art she had to keep him wavering 
between hope and despondency at once ridiculous and 
deplorable that he might write Sonnets in her praise ! 
Did you ever read his Rime ? I find it quite impossible to 
admire them sufficiently : to me they seem a very worth- 
less employment for a mind like Petrarch's he might 
have built a palace, and he has made some dozen snuff- 
boxes with invisible hinges very pretty certainly but 
very small and altogether useless. But the Italians call him 
divine, and that is everything. 


Letter to Jane Welsh (1822) 


I think I heard you say you did not think very highly of 
Corinne. You must read it again : nobody with a heart and 
soul can fail to admire it. I never read a book in my life 
that made such an impression on me. I cried two whole 
hours at the conclusion, and in all likelihood I might have 
been crying to this minute, but for an engagement to a 
party in the evening, where prudential considerations 
required that my eyes should be visible. Have you read 
Nigel ? I think wondrous little of it. I am exceedingly 
obliged to you for Sismondi. I have only read the first 
volume, but like it very much. . . . 

Are you not pleased with Bracebridge Hall? He is a 
witty, amiable sort of person Mr Irving ; but Oh, he 
wants fire ; and he is far too happy for me. Dear Byron, 
sinner as he is, there is nobody like him. I have got his 
likeness. ... I can scarcely help crying when I look at it, 
and think I may chance to go out of the world without 
seeing its original. 


Letters to Thomas Carlyle (1822) 


Metrodorus, Valerius Probus, Aulus Gellius, Pedianus, 
Boethius, and a hundred others, to be acquainted with 
whom might show much reading and but little judgment. 


Inquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning (1759) 


March i$th, 1668. And so home to read a little more in 
last night's book, with much sport, it being a foolish book. 




Heinsius, the keeper of the Library at Ley den in Holland, 
was mewed up in it all the yeare long, and that which to thy 
thinking should have bred a loathing caused in him a 
greater liking. / no sooner (saith he) come into the Library, 
but I bolt the doore to me excluding lust, ambition, avarace, 
and all such vices, whose nurse is idlenesse, the Mother of 
ignorance, and Melancholy her selfe, and in the very lap of 
eternity, amongst so many divine soules, I take my seat, with 
so lofty a spirit and sweet content, that I pitty all our great 
ones, and rich men that know not this happinesse. 


The Anatomy of Melancholy 
(1621. Edition 1632) 


Mr Johnson did not like that his friends should bring their 
manuscripts for him to read, and he liked still less to read 
them when they were brought. . . . " Alas, Madam ! " 
(continued he) how few books are there of which one ever 
can possibly arrive at the last page ! Was there ever yet 


any thing written by mere man that was wished longer by 
its readers, excepting Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe, and 
the Pilgrim's Progress. . . . 


Anecdotes of Dr. Johnson (1785) 


Learning is sunk so very low, that I am most certainly 
inform'd that nothing is now hardly read but Burnett's 
romance or libel, call'd by him The History of his own 
Times., 'Tis read by men, women, and children. Indeed, it 
is the common table-book for ladies as well as gentlemen, 
especially such as are friends to the revolution scheme. 


Diary (March 19, 1734) 


I have lately perused all my own Philosophicall Writings 
which the more seriously I have consydered by so much 
the more assured I am of the truth of those maine con- 
clusions they hold out to the world. And those that will 
be ignorant, if they find so great felicity in it, lett them 
be so. 


Letter to Lady Conway (1661) 

SP 545 



Johnson was once eminently successful in this form of 
contest : A fellow having attacked him with some coarse 
raillery, Johnson answered him thus, " Sir, your wife, 
under pretence of keeping a bawdy-house, is a receiver 
of stolen goods." 

JAMES BOSWELL, Life of Johnson (1791) 


Dr Johnson sat with Mrs Thrale, Lady Ladd, and me, for 
an hour or two. The subject was given by Lady Ladd ; 
it was the respect due from the lower class of the people. 

" I know my place," said she, " and I always take it : 
and I've no notion of not taking it. But Mrs Thrale lets all 
sort of people do just as they've a mind by her." 

" Ay," said Mrs Thrale, " why should I torment and 

worry myself about all the paltry marks of respect that con- 
sist in bows and courtesies ? I have no idea of troubling 
myself about the manners of all the people I mix with." 

" No/' said Lady Ladd, " so they will take all sorts of 
liberties with you. I remember, when you were at my 
house, how the hair-dresser flung down the comb as soon 
as you were dressed, and went out of the room without 
making a bow." 

" Well, all the better," said Mrs Thrale ; " for if he 
had made me one, then thousand to one if I had seen it. 
I was in as great haste to have done with him, as he could 
be to have done with me. I was glad enough to get him 
out of the room ; I did not want him to stand bowing and 

" If any man had behaved so insolently to me," 
answered she, " I would never again have suffered him 
in my house." 

" Well," said Mrs Thrale, " your Ladyship has a great 
deal more dignity than I have ! Dr Johnson, we are talking 
of the respect due from inferiors ; and Lady Ladd is of 
the same side you are." 

" Why, madam," said he, " subordination is always 
necessary to the preservation of order and decorum." 

" I protest," said Lady Ladd, " I have no notion of 
submitting to any kind of impertinence : and I never will 
bear either to have any nod to me, or enter a room where 
I am without bowing." 

" But, madam," said Dr Johnson, " what if they will 
nod, and what if they will not bow ? how then ? " 

" Why, I always tell them of it," said she. 

" Oh, commend me to that ! " cried Mrs Thrale ; " I'd 
sooner never see another bow in my life, than turn 
dancing-master to hair-dressers." 


The doctor laughed his approbation, but said that every 
man had a right to a certain degree of respect, and no man 
liked to be defrauded of that right. 

" Well, sir," said Mrs Thrale, " I hope you meet with 
respect enough." 

" Yes, madam," answered he, " I am very well con- 

" Nay, if you ain't, I don't know who should be ; for I 
believe there is no man in the world so greatly respected." 


Diary (1778) 



You have now, at length, left scouring the Watch and 
teizing the Exchange-women, bid adieu to Bourdeaux, and 
taken up with Barrel-ale. You are all the morning gallop- 
ping after a Fox ; all the Evening in a smoaky Chimny- 
corner, recounting whose Horse leap'd best, was oftenest 
in with the Dogs, and how readily Lightfoot hit the cooling 
Scent, and reviv'd your drooping Spirits with a prospect 
of more Diversion ; which some Men, who think them- 
selves as wise in the Enjoyment of this World, as all the 
men in Oxfordshire, are pleas'd to term meer fatigue. And 
I believe your own Footman would not ride so far and so 
hard, to fetch a good Dinner, as both of you do to see the 


Death of a stinking Beast. . . . Does not a Masque give a 
more Christian-like chase, and conclude in more satisfac- 
tion than the Animal you wot of ? I saw your Letters to 
some of our Club., and laugh'd not a little at the strangeness 
of your Style ; it smelt of filthy Tobacco., and was stain'd 
with your dropping Tankard. You acquainted 'em at 
large with the Situation of your Mansion-House ; how a 
knot of branching Elms defended it from the North-wind ; 
that the South-Sun gave you good Grapes, and most sort of 
Wall-fruits ; your Melons came on apace, and you had hopes 
of much good Fruit this Summer. After all, in Covent- 
garden Market, we can buy, in one quarter of an hour, 
better Plants than yours, and richer Melons, for Groats 
apiece, than you have been poring over this three Months. 
You thank'd 'em for some News, that was so old we hardly 
could imagine what you meant, till Tom, who has all the 
Gazets and Pamphlets lock'd up in his Heart, as David did 
the Commandments, disclosed the Mystery to us. I pity 
your new State indeed : Your Gazets are as stale as your 
Drink ; which, tho' brew'd in March, is not broach'd till 
December. The chief Topicks of Discourse (for Conversa- 
tion you have none) are Hawks, Horses, and Hounds ; every 
one of 'em as much God's Image as he that keeps them. . . . 
This you call a seasonable retreat from the Lewdness of 
London, to enjoy a Calm and Quiet Life : Heaven knows, 
you drink more there, and more ignoble and ungenerous 
Liquors than we in Town ; for yours is down-right Drink- 
ing. . . . Well, 'tis Six, and I must to the Club, where we 
will pity your Solitude, and drink your Prosperity, in a 
Cup that is worth a Stable of Horses and a Kennel of 
Hounds. So adieu. 


Letter to a Friend in the Country (1696) 


Are you so determined to spend your time now in 
Lucania, now in Campania ? . . . Why not sometimes 
return to Rome, where there are dignities, honours, and 
friendships both greater and less. For how long do you 
intend to play the lord, wake and sleep when you like, 
never wear shoes or full dress, and be free all day ? 

PLINY THE YOUNGER, Letter to Praesens (c. 100) 


Look, under that broad Beech tree I sate down when I was 
last this way a fishing, and the birds in the adjoining grove 
seemed to have a friendly contention with an Eccho, 
whose dead voice seemed to live in a hollow cave, neer 
to the brow of that Primrose hill, there I sat viewing 
the silver streams glide silently towards their center, the 
tempestuous sea ; yet somtimes opposed by rugged roots, 
and pibble stones, which broke their waves, and turned 
them into foam : and somtimes viewing the harmlesse 
lambs, some leaping securely in the cool shade, whilst 
others sported them selves in the cheerful sun ; and others 
were craving comfort from the swolne udders of their 
bleating Dams. As I thus sate, these and other sights had 
so fully possest my soul, that I thought, as the Poet has 
happily exprest it, 

I was for that time lifted above earth, 
And possest joies not promis'd in my birth. 

IZAAK WALTON, The Compleat Angler (1653) 


The very being in the country, that life it selfe is a suffi- 
cient recreation to some men, to enjoy such pleasures as 
those old Patriarkes did. Diocletian, the Emperor, was so 
much affected by it, that he gave over his scepter, and 
turned Gardner. 


The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 


DORINDA : You share in all the Pleasures that the Country 

MRS SULLEN: Country Pleasures! Racks and Torments! 
dost think, Child, that my Limbs were made for leaping of 
Ditches, and clambring over Stiles ; or that my Parents 
wisely foreseeing my future Happiness in Country- 
Pleasures, had early instructed me in rural Accomplish- 
ments of drinking fat Ale, playing at Whisk, and smoaking 
Tobacco with my Husband ; or of spreading of Plaisters, 
brewing of Diet-drinks, and stilling Rosemary- Water, 
with the good old Gentlewoman my Mother-in-Law ? 
DOR. : I'm sorry, Madam, that it is not more in our power 
to divert you ; I cou'd wish, indeed, that our Entertain- 
ments were a little more polite, or your Taste a little less 
refin'd : But pray, Madam, how came the Poets and 
Philosophers, that labour'd so much in hunting after 
Pleasure, to place it at last in a Country Life ? 
MRS SUL. : Because they wanted Money, Child, to find 


out the Pleasures of the Town : Did you ever see a Poet 
or Philosopher worth ten Thousand Pound ? if you 
can shew me such a Man, I'll lay you Fifty Pound you'll 
find him somewhere within the weekly Bills. Not that I 
disapprove rural Pleasures, as the Poets have painted 
them ; in their Landschape every Phillis has her Coridon, 
every murmuring Stream, and every flowry Mead gives 
fresh Alarms to Love. Besides, you'll find that their 
Couples were never marry 'd. 


The Beaux' Stratagem (1707) 


Phoebe drest like beauty's queen, 
Jellicoe in faint pea-green, 
Sitting all beneath a grot 
Where the little lambkins trot. 

Maidens dancing, loves a-sporting, ^ 
All the country folks a-courting, 
Susan, Johnny, Bob and Joe, 
Lightly tripping in a row. 

Happy people, who can be 
In happiness compar'd with ye ? 
The pilgrim with his crook and hat 
Sees your happiness complete. 

An Island in the Moon (1784) 


Mr Chute tells me you have taken a new house in Squire- 
land, and have given yourself up for two years more to 
port and parsons. I am very angry, and resign you to the 
works of the devil or the Church, I don't care which. 
You will get the gout, turn Methodist, and expect to 
ride to Heaven upon your own great toe. . . . Will you 
end like a fat farmer, repeating annually the price of oats 
and discussing stale newspapers ? 


Letter to George Montagu (1768) 


ISABELLE : Sir Timerous, I wish you well ; but he I marry 
must promise me to live at London : I cannot abide to be 
in the Country, like a wilde beast in the wilderness, with 
no Christian Soul about me. 

SIR TIMEROUS : Why Fli bear you company. 
ISABELLE : I cannot endure your early hunting matches 
there ; to have my sleep disturbed at break of day, with 
heigh Fowler Fowler, there Venus, ah Beauty \ and then a 
serenade of deep mouth J d curres, to answer the salutation 
of the Huntsman, as if hell were broke loose about me : and 
all this to meet a pack of Gentleman Salvages to ride all 
day like mad men, for the immortal fame of being first in 
at the Hares death : to come upon the spur after a trayl at 
four in the afternoon to destruction of cold meat and cheese, 


with your leud company in boots ; fall a drinking till 
Supper time, be carried to bed, rop'd out of your Seller, 
and be good for nothing all the night after. j OHN DRY DEN 

The Wilde Gallant (1669) 


" Yet, Sir, (said I) there are many people who are content 
to live in the country." JOHNSON. " Sir ... they who are 
content to live in the country, are jfa for the country." 

Life of Johnson (1791) 


When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy, 
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by ; 
When the air does laugh with our merry wit, 
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it ; 

When the meadows laugh with lively green, 
And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene, 
When Mary and Susan and Emily 
With their sweet round mouths sing " Ha, Ha, He ! " 

When the painted birds laugh in the shade, 
Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread, 
Come live, and be merry, and join with me, 
To sing the sweet chorus of " Ha, Ha, He ! " 


Laughing Song (1784) 


I am much better off in my own part of the country, 
where I am very distinguished, than lost in Paris and 
submerged at Versailles. 


Letter to Corbinelli (1686) 


To Portholme, seeing the country-maids milking their 
cows there, they being there now at grass, and to see with 
what mirth they come all home together in pomp with 
their milk, and sometimes they have musique to go before 

Diary (Oct. 13, 1662) 


I now hold the pen for my Lord Bolingbroke, who is 
reading your Letter between two Haycocks ; but his atten- 
tion is somewhat diverted by casting his Eyes on the 
Clouds, not in admiration of what you say, but for fear of 
a Shower. ... As to the Return of his Health and Vigour, 
were you here, you might inquire of his Hay-makers ; 
but as to his Temperance, I can answer that (for one 
whole day) we have had nothing for Dinner but Mutton- 
broth, Beans and Bacon, and a Barn-door Fowl. 


Now his Lordship is run after his Cart, I have a moment 
left to myself to tell you, that I overheard him yesterday 
agree with a Painter for 200 1. to paint his Country-Hall 
with Trophies of Rakes, Spades, Prongs, etc., and other 
Ornaments, merely to countenance his calling this Place 

Letter to Dean Swift (1728) 


LADY : Will you see a fayre Meadowe ? Is it not a great 
comfort to the eye to see so great varyetie of flowers ? 
and then cast your eye upon that little hill, looke how 
the little lambs doe skip on the grasse ! . . . The Sonne 
did not shine heare this day, for the grasse is yet with 
dewe. . . . What sweet noyse this water maketh among the 
pible stones, it doth enchaunte me almost to sleep . . . 
maydens, gather some water cresses, it biteth upon the 
tongue like pepper. . . . 

CHARLOTTE : Heare how the small birds doe chatter their 
sweete tunes, would to God I had one of them ! I would 
set him in the fayrest Cage that I could get. 
MASTER OUYT-AIGU : What Mistris, would you be so 
cruell as to deprive him of his libertie ? O deere libertie ! 
God grant me alwaies the key of the fieldes, I would like 
it better, then to be in bondage in the fayrest wainscotted 
or tapistried Chamber. 

Du VAULT-L'AMOUR : I knowe a gentle-woman, which 
above all birds loveth a Swallowe, and hath no content- 
ment but when she enjoyeth either the sight or the voyce 
of it. 


MISTRIS Du PONT GAILLARD : Yet so it is, that it is an 
unconstant and wandering bird, and that hath no pleasant 

OUYT-AIGU : But the comming of it is pleasing, for it doth 
denounce the spring-time, is a very good Architector, 
and hath great care of her little ones. 
LADY : Now seeing that she whome you say loveth her so 
well, I pray God she may have his company to her con- 
tent : but in the mean while let us retyre us for it is verye 
hotte : let us goe to the Orchard, and then we will rest 
in the garden. . . . 


The French Garden (1605) 


Who can live in heart so glad, 
As the merrie countrie lad ? 
Who upon a faire greene balke 
May at pleasures sit and walke ? 
And amidde the Azure skies, 
See the morning Sunne arise ? 
While he heares in every spring, 
How the Birdes doe chirpe and sing 
Or, before the houndes in crie, 
See the Hare go stealing by : 
Or along the shallow brooke, 
Angling with a baited hooke : 
See the fishes leape and play, 
In a blessed Sunny day : 

Or to heare the Partridge call, 
Till shee have her Covye all : ... 
Then the Bee to gather honey. 
And the little blacke-haird Cony, 
On a banke for Sunny place, 
With her fore-feete wash her face : 
Are not these with thousandes moe, 
Than the Courts of Kinges doe knowe ? 


The Passionate Shepheard (1604) 



He had a trick sometimes to goe into Westminster hall 
in a morning in Terme time, and tell some strange story 
(sham) and would come hither again about n or 12 to 
have the pleasure to heare how it spred ; and sometimes 
it would be altered, with additions, he could scarce 
knowe it to be his owne. 

Brief Lives : Thomas Chaloner (c. 1680) 




At Shearing time she shall commaund, 
The finest fleece of all my wooll : 
And if her pleasure but demaund. 
The fattest from the leane to cull. 
She shall be mistresse of my store : 
Let mee alone to worke for more. 

My cloake shall lie upon the ground, 
From wet and dust to keepe her feete : 
My pipe with his best measures found, 
Shall welcome her with musicke sweete. 
And in my skrippe, some cates at least : 
Shall bid her to a Sheapheards feast. 

My staffe shall stay her, in her walke, 

My dog shall at her heeles attend her : 

And I will holde her with such talke, 

As I doe hope shall not offend her, 

My Eawes shall bleate, my Lambes shall play, 

To shew her all the sport they may. 

Why I will tell her twentie thinges, 
That I have heard my mother tell : 

Of plucking of the Buzzards winges, 
For killing of her Cockerell, 
And hunting Rainard to his denne, 
For frighting of her sitting Hen. 

How she would say, when shee was young. 
That Lovers were ashamde to lie : 
And truth was so on everie tongue. 
That Love ment naught but honestie. 
And Sirra (quoth shee) then to me 
Let ever this thy lesson be. 

Looke when thou lovest, love but one, 
And let her worthy be thy love : 
Then love her in thy heart alone, 
And let her in thy passions proove, 
Aglaia all that in thy minde, 
Within thy heart her love shall finde. 

And as shee bad, I have obeyed, 
I love in heart but one alone : 
Whose worthines my wits dismaid, 
In finding such a worthy one. 
As in Aglaia all doth proove, 
All under heaven my only love. 

And in that love to live and die, 
And die, but in that love to live : 
And love that cannot live to lie, 
Shall for my truth this warrant give : 
My life or death, to save or lose, 
Shall in her love be to dispose. 

Her eyes shall be my Sunne to guide me, 
Her hand shall holde me by the hearte, 
Her censure onely shall decide me : 

What I protest in everie parte. 

In heart to serve and love her so. 

As under heaven to love no moe. . . . 

And I will tell her such fine tales, 
As for the nonce, I will devise : 
Of Lapwinges and of Nightingales : 
And how the Swallow feedes on flies. 
And of the Hare, the Fox, the Hound, 
The Pastor and the Medow ground. 

And of the springes, and of the wood, 
And of the Forrestes and the Deere, 
And of the rivers and the floods, 
And of the mirth and merrie cheere, 
And of the lookes and of the glaunces, 
Of Maides and young men in their daunces : 

Of clapping handes, and drawing gloves, 
And of the tokens of loves truth, 
And of the pretty Turtle Doves, 
That teach die billinge trickes of youth. 
And how they kindely ought to wooe, 
Before the tother thing they doe. 
NICHOLAS BRETON, The Passionate Shepheard (1604) 


On a time the amorous Silvy 

Said to her Shepheard, Sweet, how do you ? 

Kisse mee this once, and then God b' wee you, 

My sweetest deare. 

Kisse me this once, and then God b* wee you, 
For now the morning draweth neare. 

With that, her fairest bosome shewing, 
Opening her lips, rich perfumes blowing, 
She said, Now kisse me and be going, 

My sweetest deare. 

Kisse me this once and then be going, 
For now the morning draweth neare. 

With that the Shepheard wak'd from sleeping, 
And spying where the day was peeping, 
He said Now take my Soule in keeping, 

My sweetest deare. 

Kisse me and take my Soule in keeping, 
Since I must go now, day is neare. 

ANON (1622) 


SIMON : O Mine owne sweet heart, 

and when wilt thou be true : 
Or when will the time come, 

that I shall marry you, 
That I may give you kisses, 

one, two or three, 
More sweeter then the hunny, 
' that comes from the Bee. 

SUSAN : My Father is unwilling 

that I should marry thee, 
Yet I could wish in heart, 

that so the same might be : 
For now me thinks thou seemest, 

more lovely unto me : 
And fresher then the Blossomes, 
that bloomes on the tree. 

SIMON : Thy mother is most willing, 

and will consent I know. 
Then let us to thy Father 

now both together goe : 
Where if he give us his good will, 

and to our match agree : 
Twill be sweeter then the hunny 

that comes from the Bee. 

SUSAN : Come goe, for I am willing, 

good fortune be our guide : 
From that which I have promised, 

deare heart, He never slide : 
If that he doe but smile, 

and I the same may see, 
Tis better then the blossomes, 

that bloomes upon the tree. 

SIMON : But stay heere comes my Mother, 

weele talke with her a word : 
I doubt not but some comfort, 

to us she may afford : 
If comfort she will give us, 

that we the same may see, 
Twill be sweeter then the hunny, 

that comes from the Bee. 

SUSAN : O Mother we are going 

my Father for to pray, 

That he will give me his good will, 
for long I cannot stay. 

A young man I have chosen 
a fitting match for me, 


More fayrer then the blossomes 
that bloomes on the tree. 

MOTHER : Daughter thou art old enough 

to be a wedded wife. 
You maydens are desirous 

to lead a marryed life. 
Then my consent good daughter 

shall to thy wishes be, 
For young thou art as blossomes 

that bloome upon the tree. 

SIMON : Then mother you are willing 

your daughter I shall have : 
And Susan thou art welcome 

He keepe thee fine and brave. 
And have those wished blessings 

bestowed upon thee, 
More sweeter then the honey 

that comes from the Bee. 

SUSAN : Yet Simon I am minded 

to lead a merry life, 
And be as well maintained 

as any Citie wife : 
And live a gallant mistresse 

of maidens that shall be 
More fayrer then the blossomes 

that bloome upon the tree. 

SIMON : Thou shalt have thy Caudles, 

before thou dost arise : 
For churlishnesse breeds sicknesse 
and danger therein lies. 

Young lasses must be cherisht 
with sweets that dainty be, 

Farre sweeter then the honey 
that commeth from the Bee. 

MOTHER : Well said good Son and Daughter, 

this is the onely dyet 
To please a dainty young wife, 

and keepe the house in quiet. 
But stay, here comes your father, 

his words I hope will be 
More sweeter then the blossomes 

that bloome upon the tree. 

FATHER : Why how now daughter Susan 

doe you intend to marry ? 
Maydens in the old time 

did twenty winters tarry. 
Now in the teenes no sooner 

but you a wife will be 
And loose the sweetest blossome 

that bloomes upon thy tree. 

SUSAN : It is for my preferment 

good father say not nay. 
For I have found a husband kinde 

and loving every way : 
That still unto my fancy 

will evermore agree, 
Which is more sweet then honey 

that comes from the Bee. 

MOTHER : Hinder not your daughter, 

good husband, lest you bring 


Her loves consuming sicknesse, 
or else a worser thing. 

Maydens youngly married 
loving wives will be 

And sweet as is the honey 

which comes from the Bee. 

SIMON : Good father be not cruell, 

your daughter is mine owne : 
Her mother hath consented 
and is to liking growne. 
And if your selfe will give then, 

her gentle hand to me, 
Twill sweeter be then honey 
that comes from the Bee. 

FATHER : God give thee joy deare Daughter, 

there is no reason I 
Should hinder thy proceeding, 

and thou a mayden die : 
And after to lead Apes in hell, 

as maidens doomed be : 
That fairer are then blossomes 

that bloome upon the tree. 

SIMON : Then let's unto the Parson 

and Clerke to say Amen : 

SUSAN : With all my heart good Simon, 

we are concluded then, 
My father and my mother both 

doe willingly agree 
My Simon's sweet as honey 
that comes from the Bee. 


You Maidens and Bachelors 

we hope will lose no time, 
Which learne it by experience 

that youth is in the prime, 
And dally in their hearts desire 

young married folkes to be 
More sweeter then the blossomes 

that bloome upon the tree. 

Ibid. (c. 1620) 


MADELON : Father, here is my cousin, who will tell you 
too that marriage ought never to occur except after other 
experiences. A lover, to be agreeable, must know how to 
utter fine sentiments, to express what is sweet, tender and 
passionate, and his courtship must be in due form. First, 
he must see at church, or on a walk, or at some public 
function, the person with whom he falls in love ; or be 
taken to her house by a relation or friend, and come away 
dreamy and melancholy. For a time he hides his passion 
from the beloved object, but nevertheless pays her several 
visits, on which he does n't fail to bring up some question 
of gallantry that exercises the wits of the company. The 
day of the declaration arrives ; it should usually be made 
in an alley of some garden, while the company is a little 
way off; and it is followed by prompt anger, which is shown 
by our flush, and which, for a time, banishes the lover from 
our presence. Presently he finds means of appeasing us, 
of accustoming us insensibly to the talk of his passion, 


and of drawing from us that avowal which takes so 
much trouble. After that come adventures, the rivals who 
place themselves in the way of an established attachment, 
the persecutions of fathers, jealousies caused by false ap- 
pearances, reproaches, despairs, abductions, and the rest 
of it. That's how things are managed in the right style, 
and those are the rules which, in proper love affairs, can't 
be dispensed with. But to come without any preamble to 
conjugal union, make no other love than the marriage 
contract, and seize romance only by its tail, once more, 
father, there can be nothing more like a business deal 
than this procedure, and I feel heart-sick at the very 
thought of it. 

GORGIBUS : What the devil is this kind of talk ? This is 
the grand style with a vengeance ! 


Les Precieuses Ridicules (1659) 


On first hearing it, Mrs Bennett sat quite still, and unable 
to utter a syllable. Nor was it under many, many minutes, 
that she could comprehend what she heard, though not 
in general backward to credit what was for the advantage 
of her family, or that came in the shape of a lover to any 
of them. She began at length to recover, to fidget about in 
her chair, get up, sit down again, wonder, and bless herself. 
" Good gracious ! Lord bless me ! only think ! dear me ! 
Mr Darcy ! Who would have thought it ? And is it really 
true ? Oh, my sweetest Lizzy 1 how rich and how great 
you will be 1 What pin-money, what jewels, what carriages 


you will have ! Jane's is nothing to it nothing at all. I 
am so pleased so happy. Such a charming man 1 so 
handsome ! so tall ! Oh, my dear Lizzy ! pray apologise 
for my having disliked him so much before. I hope he will 
overlook it. Dear, dear Lizzy. A house in town ! Every- 
thing that is charming ! Three daughters married ! Ten 
thousand a year ! Oh Lord ! what will become of me ? I 
shall go distracted." 

This was enough to prove that her approbation need 
not be doubted ; and Elizabeth . . . soon went away. But 
before she had been three minutes in her room, her 
mother followed her. 

" My dearest child," she cried, " I can think of nothing 
else. Ten thousand a year, and very likely more ! 'Tis as 
good as a lord ! And a special licence you must and shall 
be married by a special licence. But, my dearest love, tell 
me what dish Mr Darcy is particularly fond of, that I 
may have it to-morrow." JANE AUSTEN 

Pride and Prejudice (1813) 


Lyke as the apple tree amonge the trees of the wod, so is 
my beloved among the sonnes. My delite is to sit under 
his shadowe, for his frute is swete unto my throte. He 
bringeth me in to his wyne celler, and loveth me specially 
well. Refresh me with grapes, comforte me with apples, 
for I am sycke of love. His lefte hande lycth under my 
head, and his ryghtc hand embraceth me. ... 

Methinke I heare the voyce of my beloved ; lo, there 

commeth he hopping upon the mountaynes, and leaping 
over the litle hylles. My beloved is like a roo or a yong 
hart. Beholde he standeth behynde our wall, he loketh 
in at the wyndowe, and pepeth thorowe the grate. 

My beloved answered and sayd unto me, O stand up my 
love, my dove, my beautiful, and come : for loe the wynter 
is now past, and the rayne is awaye and gone. The flouers 
are come up in the feilde, the twisting time is come, the 
voyce of the turtle is heard in our land, the fig tree bryng- 
eth forth her fygges, the vynes bare blossoms, and have a 
good smell. O stande up, my love, my beautifull, and come 
O my dove out of the caverns of the rocks, out of the 
holes of the wall : O let me see thy countenance and heare 
thy voyce, for swete is thy voyce and fayre is thy face. . . . 
My love is myne and I am his, which fedeth among the 
lilyes untyl the daye break, and tyl the shadowes be gone. 
Come agayne privyly (O my beloved) lyke as a Roo or a 
yong Hart, unto the mountaynes. . . . 

As for my love, he is whyte and redde coloured, a syngu- 
lar person among many thousandes ; his heed is the most 
fine gold, the lockes of his heer are busshed, browne as 
the evening : his eyes are as the eyes of doves by water 
brookes, wasshen with mylke and remayning in a plente- 
ous place : his chekes are like a garden bed, wherin the 
Apotecaryes plante all maner of swete thynges : his 
lyppes drop as the flouers of that most principall Myrre, 
his handes are full of golde ryngcs and precious stones. His 
body is as the pure yvory, deckt over with Saphirs : his 
legges are as the pyllers of marble, set upon sockett of 
gold. His face is as Libanus, and as the beautie of the 
Cedar trees : his throte is swete, yea he is altogithcr lovely. 
Such one is my love, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, such 
one is my love. . . . 


Thou art pleasaunt (O my love) even as lovelynesse it 
self, thou art fayre as Jerusalem, glorious as an army of 
men with their banners. . . . Thy heavye lockes are lyke 
a flocke of goates upon the mount of Galaad. Thy teth 
are lyke a flock of shepe that be clypped, which go out of 
the washy nge place ; where every one beareth two twyns, 
and not one unfrutefull among them. Thy chekes are lyke 
a pece of a pomgranate, besydes that which lyeth hyd 
wuthin. There are three score quenes, foure score con- 
cubynes, and yong women without nomber. But one is 
my dove, my darling. 


Trans. Miles Coverdale 
Bible (1539) 


MILL AM ANT : . . . Ah, I'll never marry, unless I am first 
made sure of my Will and Pleasure. 
MIRABELL : Would you have 'em both before Marriage ? 
Or will you be contented with the first now, and stay for 
the other 'till after Grace ? 

MILL. : Ah don't be impertinent My dear Liberty, 
shall I leave thee ? My faithful Solitude, my darling 
Contemplation, must I bid you then Adieu ? . . . My 
Morning Thoughts, agreeable Wakings, indolent Slum- 
bers, all ye douceurs, ye Someils du Matin, adieu I can't 
do't, 'tis more than impossible Positively Mirabell, I'll 
lye a-bed in a Morning as long as I please. 
MIR. : Then I'll get up in a Morning as early as I please. 


MILL. : Ah ! Idle Creature, get up when you will And 
d'ye hear, I won't be call'd Names after I'm marry'd ; 
positively I won't be call'd Names. 
MIR. : Names ! 

MILL. : Ay, as Wife, Spouse, my Dear, Joy, Jewel, Love, 
Sweet-heart, and the rest of that nauseous Cant, in which 
Men and their Wives are so fulsomly familiar, I shall 
never bear that. Good Mirabel!, don't let us be familiar 
or fond, nor kiss before Folks, like my Lady Fadler and 
Sir Francis : Nor go to Hide-Park together the first 
Sunday in a new Chariot, to provoke Eyes and Whispers ; 
And then never be seen there together again, as we were 
proud of one another the first W r eek, and asham'd of one 
another ever after. Let us never Visit together, nor go to 
a Play together, but let us be very strange and well-bred : 
Let us be as strange as if we had been marry'd a great 
while, and as well-bred as if we were not marry'd at all. 

MIR. : Have you any more Conditions to offer ? Hitherto 
your Demands are pretty reasonable. 

MILL.: Trifles, As Liberty to pay and receive Visits to and 
from whom I please ; to write and receive Letters, without 
Interrogatories or wry Faces on your part ; to wear what 
I please, and chuse Conversation with regard only to my 
own Taste ; to have no Obligation on me to converse with 
Wits that I don't like, because they are your Acquaintance; 
or to be intimate with Fools, because they may be your 
Relations. Come to Dinner when I please, dine in my 
Dressing-Room when I'm out of Humour, without giving 
a Reason. To have my closet inviolate ; to be sole Empress 
of my Tea-table, which you must never presume to 
approach without first asking leave. And lastly whcre- 
ever I am, you shall always knock at the Door before you 


come in. These Articles subscribed, if I continue to endure 
you a little longer, I may by degrees dwindle into a Wife. 

Mm. : Your Bill of Fare is somewhat advanced in this 
latter Account. Well, have I Liberty to offer Conditions 
That when you are dwindled into a Wife, I may not be 
beyond measure enlarg'd into a Husband. 

MILL. : You have free leave, propose your utmost, speak 
and spare not. 

MIR. : I thank you. Inprimis then, I covenant that your 
Acquaintance be general ; that you admit no sworn 
Confident, or Intimate of your own Sex ; no she Friend 
to skreen her Affairs under your Countenance, and tempt 
you to make Trial of a mutual Secresie. No Decoy-Duck 
to wheadle you a fop scambling to the Play in a Mask 
Then bring you home in a pretended Fright, when you 
think you shall be found out. And rail at me for missing 
the Play, and disappointing the Frolick which you had to 
pick me up and prove my Constancy, 

MILL. : Detestable Inprimis ! I go to the Play in a Mask ! 

MIR. : Item. I article, that you continue to like your own 
Face, as long as I shall : And while it passes currant with 
me, that you endeavour not to new Coin it. To which end, 
together with all Vizards for the Day, I prohibit all Masks 
for the Night, made of Oil'd-skins and I know not what 
Hog's bones, Hare's Gall, Pig Water, and the Marrow of a 
roasted Cat. In short, I forbid all Commerce with the 
Gentlewoman in what-d'ye-call-it Court. Item. I shut my 
doors against all Bauds with Basket and penny-worths of 
Muslin, China, Fans, At lasses, etc. Item, when you shall 
be Breeding 

MILL. : Ah ! Name it not. 


MIR. : Which may be presum'd, with a Blessing on our 

MILL. : Odious Endeavours ! 

MIR. : I denounce against all strait Lacing, squeezing 
for a Shape, 'till you mould my Boy's Head like a Sugar- 
Loaf ; and instead of a Man-child, make me Father to a 
Crooked-Billet. Lastly, to the Dominion of the Tea-Table 
I submit. But with provisio, that you exceed not in 
your Province ; but restrain yourself to native and simple 
Tea-Table Drinks, as Tea, Chocolate, and Coffee. As like- 
wise to Genuine and Authoriz'd Tea-Table Talk Such 
as mending of Fashions, spoiling Reputations, railing at 
absent Friends, and so forth But that on no Account you 
encroach upon the Mens Prerogative, and presume to drink 
Healths, or toast Fellows ; for prevention of which, I 
banish all Foreign Forces, all Auxiliaries to the Tea-Table, 
as Orange- Brandy, all Anniseed, Cinamon, Citron, and 
Barbado's- Waters, together with Ratafia and the most 
noble spirit of Clary. But for Cow slip- Wine, Poppy- 
Water, and all Dormitives, those I allow. These Proviso's 
admitted, in other things I may prove a tractable and com- 
plying Husband. 

MILL. : O horrid Proviso's ! filthy strong Waters ! I 
toast Fellows, Odious Men ! I hate your odious Proviso's. 

MIR. : Then we're agreed. Shall I kiss your Hand upon 
the Contract ? and here comes one to be a witness to the 
Sealing of the Deed. 


MILL. : Fainall, what snail I do ? Shall I have him ? I 
think I must have him. 


MRS FAIN. : Ay, ay, take him, take him, what shou'd you 

MILL. : Well then I'll take my Death I'm in a horrid 
Fright Fainally I shall never say it Well I think 
I'll endure you. 

MRS FAIN. : Fy, fy, have him, have him, and tell him so 
in plain terms : For I am sure you have a Mind to him. 
MILL. : Are you ? I think I have and the horrid Man 
looks as if he thought so too Well, you ridiculous thing 
you, I'll have you I won't be kissed, nor I won't be 
thank'd Here, kiss my hand tho' So hold your 
Tongue now, don't say a Word. 


The Way of the World (1700) 


One day when he was there, looking upon an odde by- 
shelf, in her sister's closett, he found a few Latine bookes ; 
asking whose they were, he was told they were her elder 
sister's, whereupon, inquiring more after her, he began 
first to be sorrie she was gone before he had scene her. . . . 
Then he grew to love to heare mention of her, and the 
other gentlewomen who had bene her companions, used to 
talke much to him of her, telling him how reserv'd and 
studious she was, and other things which they esteem'd 
no advantage ; but it so much inflam'd Mr. Hutchinson's 
desire of seeing her, that he began to wonder at himselfe 
that his heart, which had ever had such an indifferency 
for the most excellent of womankind, should have such 


strong impulses towards a stranger he never saw ; and 
certainly it was of the Lord, (though he perceiv'd it not), 
who had ordein'd him, thro' so many various providences, 
to be yoak'd with her in whom he found so much satisfac- 
tion. There scarcely past anie day, but some accident or 
some discourse still kept alive his desire of seeing this 
gentlewoman. . . . One day there was a greate deale of 
company mett at Mr. Coleman's, the gentleman's house 
where he tabled, to heare the musick, and a certeine song 
was sung . , . and gave occasion to some of the company to 
mention an answer to it, which was in the house, and 
upon some of their desires read : a gentleman saying 
'twas believ'd that a woman in the neighbourhood had 
made it, it was presently inquir'd who ? whereupon a 
gentleman, then present . . . sayd, there were but two 
women that could be guilty of it, whereof one was . . . 
Mrs. Apsley. Mr. Hutchinson, fancying something of 
rationallity in the sonnett, beyond the customary reach 
of a shee-witt, allthough, to speak truth, it signified very 
little, addrest himself to the gentleman, and told him, he 
could scarcely believe it was a woman's, whereupon this 
gentleman, who was a man of good understanding and 
expression, and inspir'd with some passion for her him- 
selfe, which made him regard all her perfections through a 
multiplying glasse, told Mr. Hutchinson, that ... he 
was confident it was Mrs. Apsley 's only, for she had sence 

above all the rest Mr. Hutchinson hearing all this, sayd 

... I cannot be at rest till this ladie's returne, that I may 
be acquainted with her ; the gentleman replied, Sir, you 
must not expect that, for she is of an humour she will not 
be acquainted with any of mankind, and however this song 
is stolen forth, she if the nicest creature in the world of 
suffering her perfections to be knowne, she shuns the 

57 6 

converse of men as the plague, she only lives in the enjoy- 
ment of herself, and has not the humanitie to communi- 
cate that happiness to any of our sex. " Well," sayd Mr. 
Hutchinson, " but I will be acquainted with her " ; and 
indeed the information of this reserv'd humour pleas'd 
him, more than all elce he had heard, and fill'd him now 
with thoughts, how he should attaine the sight and 
knowledge of her. . . . This at length he obteined ; but 
his heart, being prepossesst with his owne fancy, was 
not free to discerne how little there was in her to answer 
so greate an expectation. She was not ugly, in a carelesse 
riding-habitt she had a melancholly negligence both of 
herselfe and others, as if she neither affected to please 
others, nor tooke notice of anie thing before her : yet 
spite of all her indifferency, she was surpriz'd with some 
unusuall liking in her soule, when she saw this gentleman, 
who had hake, eies, shape, and countenance enough to 
begett love in any one at the first, and these sett of with a 
gracefull and generous mine, which pro mis 'd an extra- 
ordinary person ; he was at that time, and indeed always 
very neatly habited, for he wore good and rich clothes, 
and had variety of them, and had them well suited and 
every way answerable. ... He found withall, that though 
she was modest, she was accostable, and willing to enter- 
taine his acquaintance. This soone past into a mutuall 
friendship betweene them, and though she innocently 
thought nothing of love, yett was she glad to have 
acquir'd such a friend. . . . Mr. Hutchinson, on the other 
side, having bene told, and seeing how she shun'd all 
other men, and how civilly she entertain'd him, believ'd 
that a secret power had wrought a mutuall inclination 
betweene them, and dayly frequented her mother's house, 
and had the opportunitie of conversing with her in those 
TP 577 

pleasant walkes, which, at that sweete season of the spring, 
invited all the neighbouring inhabitants to seeke their 
joyes ; where, though they were never alone, yet they had 
every day opertunity for converse with each other, which 
the rest shar'd not in, while every one minded their owne 
delights. ... He in the meane while prosecuted his live, 
with so much discretion, duty, and honor that at the 
length, through many difficulties, he accomplisht his 
designe. I shall passe by all the little amorous relations, 
which if I would take the paynes to relate, would make a 
true history of a more handsome management of love 
then the best romances describe ; for these are to be 
forgotten as the vanities of youth, not worthy of mention 
among the greater transactions of his life. There is this 
only to be recorded, that never was there a passion more 
ardent and lesse idolatrous ; he lov'd her better than his 
life, with inexpressible tendernesse and kindnesse, had a 
most high obliging esteeme of her, yet still consider'd 
honour, religion, and duty, above her, nor ever suffer 'd 
the intrusion of such a dotage as should blind him from 
marking her imperfections ; these he looked upon with 
such an indulgent eie as did not abate his love and esteeme 
of her, while it augmented his care to blott out all those 
spotts which might make her appeare lesse worthy of that 
respect he pay'd her ; and thus indeed he soone made her 
more equall to him than he found her ; for she was a very 
faithfull mirror, reflecting truly, though but dimmely, 
his owne glories upon him, so long as he was present. . . . 
'Twas not her face he lov'd, her honor and her vertue 
were his mistresses, and these (like Pigmalion's) images of 
his owne making. . . . That day that the friends on both 
sides met to conclude the marriage, she fell sick of the 
small pox, which was many wayes a greate triall upon 


him ; first, her life was allmost in desperate hazard, and 
then the disease, for the present, made her the most 
deformed person that could be scene, for a greate while 
after she recover'd ; yett he was nothing troubled at it, but 
married her as soone as she was able to quitt the chamber 
when the priest and all that saw her were affrighted to 
looke on her : but God recompenc'd his justice and 
constancy, by restoring her, though she was longer than 
ordinary before she recover'd, as well as before. One thing 
is very observable, and worthy imitation in him ; although 
he had as strong and violent affection for her as any man 
had, yet he declar'd it not to her till he had first acquainted 
her father. ... At length, to the full content of all, the thing 
was accomplish'd, and on the third day of July, in the 
1638, he was married to Mrs. Lucy Apsley, the second 
daughter of Sr. Allen Apsley, late liftenant of the Tower 
of London, at St. Andrew's church in Holborne. 

Memoirs of Life of John Hutchinson (c. 1665) 


Nothing can alter the resolution I have taken of settling 
my whole stock of happinesse upon the affection of a 
person that is deare to mee whose kindnesse I shall 
infinitly preffer before any other consideration what- 
soever, and I shall not blush to tell you, that you have 
made the whole world besydes soe indifferent to mee, 
that if I cannot be yours they may dispose mee how they 
please, H.C. will be as acceptable to me as anybody else. 


Letter to Sir William Temple (1653) 


Down in a Garden sat my dearest love 
Her skin more soft than down of Swan, 
More tender hearted than the Turtle Dove, 
And far more kinde than bleeding Pellican ; 
I courted her, she rose, and blushing said, 
Why was I born to live, and die a Maid ? 
With that I pluckt a pretty Marygold, 
Whose dewy leaves shut up when day is done, 
Sweeting (I said) arise, look and behold, 
A pretty Riddle Fie to thee unfold. 
These leaves shut in as close as cloyster'd Nun, 
Yet will thye open when they see the Sun. 
What mean you by this Riddle Sir, she said, 
I pray expound it : Then I thus began, 
Are not Men made for Maids, and Maids for Men ? 
With that she chang'd her colour, and grew wan, 
Since now this Riddle you so well unfold, 
Be you the Sun, Fie be the Marygold. ANON 

Song 70 : New Academy of Compliments (c. 1630) 


Tell me you wandering spirits of the Ayre, 
Did you not see a Nimph more bright, more faire 
Then beauties darling, or of parts more sweet 
Than stolne content ? If such a one you meet 
Wait on her hourely where so e're she flies, 
And cry, and cry, Amintas for her absence dies. 

Go search the Vallies, pluck up every Rose, 
You'l find a scent, a blush of her in those : 

Fish, Fish for Pearle, or Corrall, there you'l see 

How orientall all her colours bee : 

Go call the Ecchoes to your ayde, and cry, 
Chloris, Chloris, for that's her name for whom I dy. 

But stay a while, I have inform'd you ill, 
Were she on earth, she had been with me still : 
Go fly to Heaven, examine every Sphere, 
And try what Star hath lately lighted there ; 
If any brighter than the Sun you see. 
Fall down, fall down and worship it, for that is 
shee. ANON 

Select Musicall Ayres and Dialogues (1672) 



Besides many other stories which the Hellenes tell with- 
out due consideration, this tale is especially foolish which 
they tell about Heracles I for my part am of the opinion 
that die Hellenes when they tell this tale are altogether 
without knowledge of the nature and customs of the 
Egyptians. . . . Besides this, how is it possible that 
Heracles, being one person only . . . should slay many 
myriads ? Having said so much of these matters, we pray 
that we may have grace from both the gods and the 
heroes for our speech. . . . 

I do not believe this tale either, that nature produces 
one-eyed men which in all other respects are like other 
men. . . . 

These bald-headed men say (though I do not believe 
it) that the mountains are inhabited by men with goats' 
feet ; and that . . . others are found who sleep through six 
months of the year. This I do not admit at all as true. . . . 

As to the feathers of which the Scythians say the air 
is full . . . the opinion which I have is this : in the parts 
beyond this land it snows continually. . . . Now whoso- 
ever has seen close at hand snow falling thickly knows 
what I mean without further explanation. . . . 

It is said of them by the Scythians . . . that once in 
every year each of the Neuroi becomes a wolf for a few 
days, and then returns to his original form. For my part I 
do not believe them when they say this, but they say it 
nevertheless, and swear it moreover. . . . 

I marvel if the tale is true which is reported, for it is 
said that he dived into the sea at Aphetai and did not come 
up till he reached Artemision, having traversed here some- 
where about eighty furlongs through the sea. Now there 
are told about this man several other tales which seem 
likely to be false, but some also which are true : about 
this matter however let it be stated as my opinion that he 
came to Artemision in a boat. 

HERODOTUS (sth cent. B.C.) 
Trans. G. C. Macaulay 


That men may be transformed into wolves, and restored 
again to their former shape, we must confidently beleeve 


to be a lowd lie, or else give credit to all those tales which 
we have for so many ages found to be meere fables. . . . 
A wonder it is to see, to what passe these Greekes are 
come in their credulity : there is not so shamelesse a lye 
but it findeth one or other of them to uphold and main- 
taine it. 

PLINY THE ELDER, Natural History (c. 77) 
Trans. Philemon Holland (1601) 


The strange relations made by Authors, may sufficiently 
discourage our adherence unto Authority, and which if 
we believe we must be apt to swallow anything. . . . 

The common opinion of the Ostrich ... or Sparrow- 
Camel, conceives that it digesteth Iron ; and this is con- 
firmed by the affirmations of many. . . . Notwithstanding 
upon enquiry we find it very questionable, and the nega- 
tive seems most reasonably entertained ; whose verity 
indeed we do the rather desire, because hereby we shall 
relieve our ignorance of one occult quality. . . . 

We shall not, I hope, disparage the Resurrection of our 
Redeemer, if we say the Sun doth not dance on Easter 
Day. And though we would willingly assent unto any 
sympathetical exultation, yet cannot conceive therein 
any more than a Tropical expression. Whether any such 
motion there were in that day wherein Christ arised, 
Scripture hath not revealed, which hath been punctual 
in other records concerning solar miracles : and the 
Areopagite that was amazed at the Eclipse, took no notice 
of this. . . . 


And though it be said that poyson will break a Venice 
glass, yet have we not met with any of that nature. . . . 

The story of the wandering Jew is very strange, and 
will hardly obtain belief. . . . 

Unto some it hath seemed incredible what Herodotus 
reporteth of the great Army of Xerxes, that drank whole 
rivers dry. And unto the Author himself it appeared 
wondrous strange. . . . 

That Annibal eat or brake through the Alps with 
Vinegar, may be too grossly taken. . . . 

That Archimedes burnt the ships of Marcellus, with 
speculums of parabolical figures, at three furlongs . . . 
sounds hard unto reason. . . . 

SIR THOMAS BROWNE, Pseudodoxia Epidemica (1646) 


Many have held opinion that Pliny and Aulus Gellius were 
loud liars, when they wrote and published, that there lived 
a certain kinde of people in Scythia, which had Dogs 
heads, and that they howled like dogs, instead of speaking 
as other men doe. J OHN BULWER 

Anthropometamorphosis, or the Artificial Changeling 


I feel that we should say most times : There is no such 

thing. MICHAEL DE MONTAIGNE, Essays (1580) 

Trans. John Florio (1603) 


You seem sollicitous about that pretty thing called soul. 
I do protest you I know nothing of it, not whether it is, 
nor what it is, nor what it shall be. Young scholars and 
priests know all that perfectly. For my part I am but a 
very ignorant fellow. F . M . A< DE VOL TAIRE 

Letter to James Boswell (Feb. 1765, after BosweWs 
visit to Ferney and in reply to a letter continuing their 
theological controversy) 



God forgive mee I was as neer Laughing Yesterday where 
I should not : would you beleeve that I had the grace to 
goe heare a sermon upon a week day . . . and Mr Marshall 
was the man that preached, but never any body was soe 
defeated, hee is soe famed that I expected rare things 
from him and seriously I listned to him at first with as 
much reverence and attention as if hee had bin St Paul. 
And what doe you think hee told us ? why that if there 
were no kings no Queens noe Lord's no Lady's noe 
Gentlemen nor Gentlewoman, in the world, twould 
bee noe losse at all to God Almighty. This wee had over 
some forty times which made mee remember it whither 


I would or not, the rest was much at this rate, enterlarded 
with the prittyest od phrases that I had the most adoe 
to look soberly enough for the place I was in that ever 
I had in my life ; hee do's not preach soe always sure ; 
if hee do's I cannot beleeve his Sermon's will doe much 
toward's the bringing any body to heaven, more than by 
Excercising there Patience. Yet Fie say that for him, hee 
stood stoutly for Tyth's, though in my opinion few 
deserved them lesse than hee, and it may bee hee would 
bee better without them. 

DOROTHY OSBORNE, Letter to Sir William Temple (1653) 


A sermon was preach'd to the Jewes at Ponte Sisto, who 
are constrain'd to it till the houre is don ; but it is with so 
much malice in their countenances, spitting, hum'ing, 
coughing, and motion, that it is almost impossible they 
should heare a word from the preacher. A conversion is 

very rare. 

JOHN EVELYN, Diary (Jan. 7, 1645) 


Leave that alone ! To your text, Mr Dean ! To your text ! 
Leave that. We have heard enough of that. To your 


(To the Dean of St Paul's when he preached against 

images in churches) 


May 14. 1669. 

Most of the company gone, and I going, I heard by a 
gentleman of a sermon that was to be there ; [Lambeth 
Palace] and so I staid to hear it, thinking it serious, till by 
and by the gentleman told me it was a mockery, by one 
Cornet Bolton, a very gentleman-like man, that behind a 
chair did pray and preach like a Presbyter Scot that ever I 
heard in my life, with all the possible imitation in grimaces 
and voice. And his text about the hanging up their harps 
upon the willows ; and a serious good sermon too, exclaim- 
ing against Bishops, and crying up of my good Lord Eglin- 
ton, till it made us all burst ; but I did wonder to have 
the [Arch] Bishop at this time to make himself sport 
with things of this kind, but I perceive it was shewn him 
as a rarity ; and he took care to have the room door shut, 
but there was about twenty gentlemen there, and myself, 
infinitely pleased with the novelty. 

Nov. 16. 1661. 

So to church again, and heard a simple fellow upon the 
praise of Church musique, and exclaiming against men's 
wearing their hats on in the church, but I slept part of the 
sermon, till latter prayer and blessing and all was done 
without waking which I never did in my life. 

April i. ib. 

Staid to hear a sermon ; but, it being a Presbyterian 
one, it was so long, that after above an hour of it we went 
away, and I home and dined. 


Christmas Day, ib. 

Bishop Morley preached upon the song of the Angels 
. . . Methought he made but a poor sermon, but long, and 
reprehending the mistaken jollity of the Court for the 
true joy that shall and ought to be on those days, he par- 
ticularized concerning their excess in plays and gaming, 
. . . Upon which it was worth observing how far they are 
come from taking the reprehensions of a bishopp seriously, 
that they all laugh in the chappell when he reflected on 
their ill actions and courses. He did much press us to 
join these publique days of joy, and to hospitality. But 
one that stood by whispered in my ear that the Bishopp 
himself do not spend one groat to the poor himself. 



At the 2 bowers sermons at St Pauls crosse the preacher 
to refresh him and continue his voyce was used to stoope 
down in the pulpitt and drinck. 


Miscellaneous Writings (undated) 


His Majestic appointed him a day to preach to him. And 
though his Majestic and others expected much from him, 
yet he was so happy (which few are) as to satisfie and 


exceed their expectations : preaching the Word so, as 
shewed he was possest with those joyes that he labored 
to distill into others : A Preacher in earnest, weeping 
sometimes for his Auditory, some with them, alwayes 
preaching to himselfe like an Angel from a cloud, though 
in none : carrying some (as St. Paul was) to Heaven, in 
holy raptures ; and enticing others, by a sacred art and 
courtship, to amend their lives ; here picturing a vice so 
as to make it ugly to those that practised it ; and a vertue 
so, as to make it beloved, even by those that lov'd it not ; 
and all this with a most particular grace, and an un- 
imitable fashion of speaking. 


The Life and Death of Dr. Donne 
(1640 and 1670 editions) 


I have liv'd to see both Greek and Latin almost entirely 
driven out of the Pulpit, for which I am heartily glad. 


Letter to a Young Gentleman (1721) 


Now I felt that if I composed and preached sermons, I 
should by no means compose myself to the Vicar's 
threadbare subjects should preach the Wrath of God, 
and sound the last Trump in the ears of my Hell-doomed 


congregation, cracking the heavens and dissolving the world 
with the eclipses and earthquakes of the great Day of 
Judgement. Then I might refresh them with high and 
incomprehensible Doctrines, beyond the reach of Reason 
Predestination, Election, the Co-existence and Co- 
eternities of the incomprehensible Triad. And with what 
a holy vehemence would I exclaim and cry out against all 
forms of doctrinal Error all the execrable hypotheses of 
the great Heresiarchs ! Then there would be many ancient 
and learned and out-of-the-way Iniquities to denounce 
and splendid, neglected Virtues to inculcate Apostolic 
Poverty, and Virginity, that precious jewel, that fair gar- 
land, so prized in Heaven, but so rare, it is said, on earth. 
For in the range of creeds and morals it is the highest 
peaks that shine for me with a certain splendour : it is 
towards those radiant Alps that, if I were a Clergyman, 
I should lead my flock to pasture. 


Trivia (1918) 


And never was I more glad after a long sermon on a cold 
day to come to those dear words " Now to God the 
Father," and " The Peace of God," words which were 
for so many years the sweetest to me in the whole Church 
service, and which I shall love as long as I live. 


Letter to Captain Southey, R.N. (1812) 




The Gentlemen Criolians or natives of Chiapa ... as 
presumptuous they are and arrogant, as if the noblest 
bloud in the Court of Madrid ran through their veines. 
It is a common thing amongst them to make a dinner only 
with a dish of Frixoles in black broath, boyled with pepper 
and garlicke, saying it is the most nourishing meat in all 
the India's ; and after this so stately a dinner they will 
be sure to come out to the street-dore of their houses, to 
see and to be seen, and there for halfe an houre will they 
stand shaking off the crums of bread from their cloaths, 
bands, (but especially from their ruffes when they used 
them) and from their mustachoes. And with their tooth- 
pickers they will stand picking their teeth, as if some 
small Partridge bone stuck in them ; nay if a friend passe 
by at that time, they will be sure to find out some cmm 
or other in their mustacho (as if on purpose the crums of 
the table had been shaken upon their beards . . .) and 
they will be sure to vent out some non-truth, as to say a 
A Senor que linds perdiz he comido oy, O Sir, what a dainty 
Partridge have I eat to-day, where as they picke out 


nothing from their teeth but a black husk of a dry frixole 
or Turkey bean. 


The English- American ; his travail by sea and land (1648) 


Now Sir William would sometimes, when he was pleasant 
over a glasse of wine with his most intimate friends e.g. 
Sam. Butler (author of Hudibras) etc. say, that it 
seemed to him that he writt with the very spirit of Shakes- 
peare, and seemd contented enough to be thought his 
son. He would tell them the story as above, in which 
way his mother had a very light report. 


Brief Lives : Sir William Davenant (c. 1680) 


He was a vaine man in his ordinarie service at his borde, 
not only in that his beddes whereon he fedde, were cov- 
ered with rich carpettes of purple, and him selfe served 
in gold and silver vessell set with pretious stones, and that 
there was dauncing, musicke, playes, and other such like 
pastimes of ordinary : but also for that he was continually 
served with all sortes of fine dainty dishes, with workes of 
pastry, bancketing dishes, and frute curiously wrought 
and prepared, which only made him to be wonderd at of 
men of simple understanding and mean condicion. . . . 


In such thinges therefore did Lucullus lavishly and 
riotously spend his goods, like spoyles in dede gotten of 
slaves and barbarous peple. 


Lives (c. 100) 
Trans. Sir Thomas North (1579) 


SIR JOSEPH WITOLL : By the Lord Harry, Mr Sharper, 
he's a brave a Fellow as Cannibal, are not you, Bully- 

SHARPER : Hannibal I believe you mean, Sir Joseph. 
CAPTAIN BLUFFE : Undoubtedly he did. Sir ; faith 
Hannibal was a very pretty Fellow but Sir Joseph, 
Comparisons are odious Hannibal was a very pretty 
Fellow in those Days, it must be granted but alas Sir ! 
were he alive now, he would be nothing, nothing in the 

SHARPER : How Sir ! I make a doubt, if there be at this 
Day a greater General breathing. 

BLUFFE : Oh excuse me, Sir ; have you serv'd abroad, Sir ? 
SHARP. : Not I really, Sir. 

BL. : Oh I thought so Why then you can know nothing, 
Sir : I am afraid you scarce know the History of the late 
War in Flanders, with all its particulars. 
SH. : Not I, Sir, no more than publick Letters, or Gazettes 
tell us. 

BL. : Gazette ! Why there agin now Why, Sir, there 
are not three Words of Truth, the Year round, put into 
the Gazette Fll tell you a strange thing now as to that 


You must know, Sir, I was resident in Flanders the last 
Campaign, had a small Post there ; but no matter for 
that Perhaps, Sir, there was scarce any thing of moment 
done but an humble Servant of yours, that shall be 
nameless, was an Eye Witness of I won't say had the 
greatest share in't. Tho' I might say that too, since I name 
no Body you know Well, Mr Sharper, would you think 
it ? In all this time as I hope for a Truncheon this 
rascally Gazette-writer never so much once mention'd 
me Not once by the Wars Took no more notice, than 
as if Nol. Bluffe had not been in the Land of the Living. 
SH. : Strange ! 

SIR Jo. : Yet by the Lord Harry 'tis true Mr Sharper, for 
I went every Day to Coffee-Houses to read the Gazette 
my self. 

BL. : Ay, ay, no matter You see, Mr Sharper after all I 
am content to retire Live a private Person Scipio and 

others have done it 

SIR J. : Ay, this damned Modesty of yours Agad if he 
would put in for't he might be made General himself yet. 
BL. : Oh fie, no Sir Joseph You know I hate this. 
SIR J. : Let me but tell Mr Sharper a little, how you eat 
Fire once out of the Mouth of a Cannon agad he did ; 
those impenetrable Whiskers of his have confronted 


BL. : Death, what do you mean, Sir Joseph ? 

SIR J. : Look you know, I tell you he's so modest he'll own 


BL. : Pish you have put me out, I have forgot what I was 

about. Pray hold your Tongue and give me leave. 


The Old Batchelor (1693) 


This morning I swam from Sestos to Abydos. . . . The 
current renders it hazardous ; so much so that I doubt 
whether Leander's conjugal affection must not have been 
a little chilled in his passage to Paradise I ... crossed 
the " broad Hellespont " in about an hour and ten minutes. 


Letter to Henry Drury (1810) 


All his humor rises up into the froth of ostentation ; 
which if it once settle, falles downe into a narrow roome. 
If the excesse be in the understanding part, all his wit is 
in print ; the Presse hath left his head emptie ; yea, not 
only what he had, but what he could borrow without 
leave. If his glorie be in his devotion, he gives not an 
Almes but on record ; and if he have once done well, God 
heares of it often ; for upon every unkindnesse hee is 
readie to upbraid him with his merits. . . . Or, if a more 
gallant humour possesse him, hee weares all his land on 
his backe, and walking high, looks over his left shoulder, 
to see if the point of his rapier follow him with a grace. 
Hee is proud of another mans horse ; and wel mounted, 
thinks every man wrongs him, that looks not at him. A 
bare head in the street doth him more good than a meales 
meat. Hee sweares bigge at an Ordinarie, and talkes of 
the Court with a sharpe accent ; neither vouchsafes to 
name anie not honourable, nor those without some terme 


of familiaritie, and likes well to see the hearer looke upon 
him amazedly ; as if he sayd, How happie is this man that 
is so great with great ones ! Under pretence of seeking 
for a scroll of newes, hee drawes out an handfull of letters, 
indorsed with his owne stile, to the height ; and halfe 
reading every title, passes over the latter part, with a 
murmur; not without signifying, what Lord sent this, 
what great Ladie the other ; and for what sutes : the last 
paper (as it happens) is his newes from his honourable 
friend in the French Court. In the midst of dinner, his 
Lacquay comes sweating in, with a sealed note from his 
creditour, who now threatens a speedie arrest, and 
whispers the ill newes in his Masters eare, when hee aloud 
names a Counsellor of State, and prefesses to know the 
imployment. The same messenger hee calles with an 
imperious nod, and after expostulation, where he hath left 
his fellowes, in his eare sends him for some new spur- 
leathers or stockings, by this time footed, and when he 
is gone halfe the roome, recalles him, and sayth aloud, 
// is no matter, let the greater bagge alone till I come ; and 
yet againe calling him closer, whispers (so that all the 
table may hear) that if his crimson sute be readie against the 
day, the rest need no haste. He picks his teeth when his 
stomacke is emptie, and calles for Pheasants at a common 
Inne. You shall find him prizing the richest jewels, and 
fairest horses, when his purse yeelds not money enough 
for earnest. He thrusts himselfe into the prease before 
some great Ladies ; and loves to be scene neere the head 
of a great traine. His talke is how many Mourners hee 
furnish't with gownes at his fathers funerals, how many 
messes ; how rich his coat is, and how ancient, how great 
his alliance : what challenges hee hath made and 
answered ; what exploits at Cales or Nieuport : and when 


hee hath commended others buildings, furnitures, sutes, 
compares them with his owne. When hee hath undertaken 
to be the Broker for some rich Diamond, he weares it, 
and pulling off his glove to stroke up his haire, thinks no 
eye should have any other object. Entertaining his friend, 
he chides his Cooke for no better cheere, and names the 
dishes he meant, and wants. To conclude, hee is ever on 
the stage, and acts still a glorious part abroad. ... He is a 
Spanish souldier on an Italian Theater ; a bladder full of 
winde, a skin full of words ; a fooles wonder, and a wise 
mans foole. 


Characters of Vertues and Vices (1608) 


If we consult the Collegiates of Moorfields, we shall find 
most of them are beholden to their Pride for their intro- 
duction into that magnificent Palace. I had some Years ago 
the Curiosity to enquire into the particular circumstances 
of these whimsical Freeholders, and learned from their 
own Mouths the Conditions and Character of each of 
them. Indeed, I found that all I spoke to were Persons of 
Quality. There were at that time five Duchesses, three 
Earls, two Heathen Gods, an Emperor, and a Prophet. 
There were also a great Number of such as were locked 
up from their Estates, and others who concealed their 
Titles. A Leather-seller of Taunton whisper 'd me in the 
Ear, That he was the Duke of Monmouth ; but begged 
me not to betray him. At a little distance from him sat a 


Taylor's Wife, ... I presumed to ask her, Who she was ? 
And was answered, My Lady Mayoress. . . . 

I was resolved to guard myself against a Passion which 
makes such Havock in the Brain, and produces so much 
Disorder in the Imagination. For this Reason I have 
endeavoured to keep down the secret Swellings of 
Resentment, and stifle the very first Suggestions of Self- 

Lucubrations of Isaac Bicker staff. Tatler No. 127 



Suddenly, towards ten o'clock, there was a great move- 
ment in the crowd. The garden gate turned violently on 
its hinges. 

" It's he ! It's he ! " people cried. 

It was he. 

When he appeared on the threshold, two cries of 
astonishment went up from the crowd. 

" He's a Turk ! " 

" He's got spectacles ! " 

Tartarin of Tarascon, in fact, had conceived it to be his 
duty, since he was going to Algeria, to assume Algerian 
costume. Large puffed trousers of white linen, small tight 
jacket with metal buttons, two feet of red sash round the 
stomach, the neck bare, the face shaved, on the head a 
huge red fez, and a blue streamer of immense length ! 
With this, two heavy guns, one on each shoulder, a great 
hunting-knife in the sash, a cartridge pouch on the 


stomach, a revolver balancing in a leather pocket on the 
hip. That was all. ... 

Ah, pardon me, I forgot the spectacles ; an enormous 
pair of blue goggles which came in very aptly to correct 
anything that might be a little too fierce in our hero's 

" Long live Tartarin ! Long live Tartarin ! " shouted 
the people. The great man smiled, but did not bow, 
because of the guns which hindered him. For the rest, 
he knew now how to keep popular favour ; possibly in the 
depths of his soul he cursed his dreadful countrymen who 
were forcing him to depart, to leave his pretty little home, 
with its white walls and its green shutters. . . . But of 
this one saw nothing. 

Calm and proud, though rather pale, he walked along 
the street . . . and briskly took the road to the railway 


Tartarin de Tarascon (18721 


He is indeed a kind of Schollar-Mountebank . . . trickt out 
in all the accoutrements of Learning, ... he heares you 
not till the third knocke, and then comes out very angry, 
as interrupted. You find him in his Slippers, and a Pen in 
his eare. . . . His Table is spred wide with some Classicke 
Folio, which is as constant to it as the carpet, and hath 
laid open in the same Page this halfe yeere. . . . His pocket 
is seldome without a Greeke Testament, or Hebrew 
Bible, which hee opens only in the Church, and that when 


some stander by lookes over. He has his sentences for 
Company, some scatterings of Seneca and Tacitus, which 
are good upon all occasions. If he reads any thing in the 
morning, it comes up all at dinner ; and as long as that 
lasts, the discourse is his. Hee is a great Plagiarie of 
Taverne-wit, and comes to sermons onely that hee may 
talke of Austin. ... He talkes much of Scaliger and 
Casaubone, and the Jesuites, and prefers some unheard- 
of Dutch name before them all. He has verses to bring in 
upon these and these hints, and it shall goe hard but he 
will wind in his opportunity. 


Micro-cosmographie (1628) 



What so pleasant as to see some Pageant or Sight goe by, 
as at Coronations, Weddings, and such like Solemnities, 
to see an Embassadour or a Prince met, received, enter- 
tained, with Masks, Shewes, Fireworks, &c. ... To behold 
a battle fought, like that of Cressy, or Agincourt. ... To 
see one of Caesar's triumphs in old Rome revived, or the 
like. ... So infinitely pleasant are such Shewes, to the 
sight of which often times they will come hundreds of 
miles, give any money for a place, and remember many 


yeares after with singular delight. Bodine, when he was 
Embassador in England, said he saw the Noblemen go in 
their Robes to the Parliament House ... he was much 
affected with the sight of it. Pomponius Columna . . . saw 
13 Frenchmen and so many Italians once fight for a whole 
Army : . . . the pleasantest sight that ever he saw in his 
life. Who would not have been affected with such a 
Spectacle ? . . . The very reading of Feasts, Triumphs, 
Interviews, Nuptialls, Tilts, Turnaments, Combats, and 
Monomaches, is most acceptable and pleasant. 

The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 


To see a strange out-landish Fowle, 

A quaint Baboon, an Ape, an Owle, 

A dancing Beare, a Gyants bone, 

A foolish Ingin move alone, 

A Morris-dance, a Puppit-play. 

Mad Tom to sing a Roundelay, 

A Woman dancing on a Rope, 

Bull-baiting also at the Hope ; 

A Rimers Jests, a Juglers cheats, 

A Tumbler showing cunning feats, 

Or Players acting on the Stage 

There goes the bounty of our Age : 
But unto any pious motion, 
There's little coine and lesse devotion. 






Who is it will repaire, 
or come and see my packet : 

Where there's store of Ware, 
if any of you lacke it, 

view the Fay re. 

Faire Maydens come and see, 

If heere be ought will please you : 
And if we can agree, 

lie give you just your due, 
Or nere trust me. 

Farre-fetcht Indian ware, 

and China hard to enter : 
Which to get is rare, 

costs many lives to venter, 
we nere care. 


From Venice Citie comes 

great store of rare Complection, 
From western lies your Gummes 

to keep Teeth from infection, 
and from Rhewmes. 

Heere is a water rare, 

will make a wench that's fiftie, 
For to look more fayre 

then one that wants of twenty, 
stil'd from the Ayre. 

A Perriwig to weare, 

or Cover for bare places : 
If you have lost your heare, 

full many one it graces : 
tis not deare. 

Heeres Poking stickes of steele, 

and Christall Looking Glasses : 
Here globes that round will wheele 

to see each one that passes, 
Dildo Dill. 

Pomado for your Lips, 

to make them soft and ruddy : 
And sweet as Cipres chips, 

a lustre like a Ruby 
soone it gets, 


Heres Bracelets for your arm 

of Corall, or of Amber : 
A Powder that will Charme 

or bring one to your Chamber, 
tis no harme. 

Rebatoes, Tyres, and Rings, 
Sissers and a Thimble : 

And many pretty thinges, 
to keepe your fingers nimble, 

weaving stringes. 

Balles of Camphyre made, 

to keepe your face from pimples : 
An Unguent that's alayd, 

you never shall have wrinckles, 
if a Mayde. 

Spunges for your face, 

or Sope that came from Turkey : 
Your favour it will grace, 

if that you be not durty, 
in no place. 

Rich imbroydered Gloves, 

to draw upon your white hand : 
Or to give your Loves, 

a Ruffe or falling band, 
my pretty Doves. 


Pinnes both white and red, 

of all sortes and all sizes : 
Plumbes and Ginger bread, 

my Wares of divers prizes, 
Bookes to read. 


Venice Glasses fine, 

were newly made in London : 
To drinke your Beere or Wine, 

come now my Pack's undone, 
speake betime. 

Lawne and Cambricke pure. 

as good as e're was worne : 
Like yron it will dure, 

untill that it be torne, 
be you sure. 

Heer's many other thinges, 

As Jewes trumps, pipes, and Babies : 
St. Martins Beades and Ringes, 

and other toyes for Ladyes, 
knots and stringes. 


And as my Ware doth prove, 
so let me take your mony : 
My pretty Turtle Dove, 

that sweeter is then hony, 
which is Love ; ANON 

The Pedler opening his Pack (c. 1620) 


SHOP-GIRL : Madame, what doth it please you to have ? 
Would ye have any faire linnen cloath ? Mistris, see what 
I have, and I will showe you the fayrest linnen cloath in 
London, if you do not like it, you may leave it, you shall 
bestowe nothing but the looking on, The payne shall be 
ours to showe them you. 
LADY : Into what Shop shall we goe ? 
MASTER Du VAULT-L'AMOUR : Madame, will it please you 
to enter into this Shop ? . . . 
LADY : How sell you the Ell of this Cambricke ? 
SHOP-GIRL : I knowe you have so good Judgement in 
linnen cloath, that I dare not showe you any for good, 
unlesse it were so : there needes no replye to such a Lady 
as you are, you may say your pleasure, the Cambricke 
will cost you twentie shillings the Ell. 
LADY : Truly it lacketh no price : And if thinges be so 
much worth as those which sell them, doe make them to 
be : your Cambricke is very good, for you holde it at a 
good price, But yet I will not give so much tho. 
SHOP-GIRL : How much will it please you to give then 
Madame ? to the end that I may have your Custome ? 
LADY : I will give you fifteene shillings, If you will take 
my money make shorte, for I have other busines then to 
tarye heere. 

SHOP-GIRL : Truely Madame I would be verye sorie to 
denie you if I could give it at that price, but in truth 
I cannot, unles I should lose by it. 
LADY : I will give you sixteen, and not one halfpeny more. 
Mistris Du Pont-galliard, is it not enough ? 
MISTRESSE Du PONT-GALLIARD : Me thinketh it Madame 


that you offer too much, as of me, I would not give so 

LADY : Let us goe then to the shop on the other side. . . . 
SHOP-GIRL : Madame, if you finde any better, I am con- 
tent to give you mine for nothing. 
LADY : Let it be as good as it will, yet you shall not have 
of me a penye more for it, for I have offred too much 

SEMPSTER : Madame, I am content to lose in it, of the 
price that I sell it to others, in hope that you will buye of 
us when you shall have need : how many Elles will it 
please you to have ? 

LADY : Halfe a dossen Elles. . . Make good measure. 
Master Du Vault-1'amour, I pray you to buye for 
me yonder wastcoate that I see in that other shop, for if 
I cheapen it, they will over price it me by the halfe, As 
for you, they knowe you have better skill in it. Joly pay 
for this cloath. Now, are you payed and contented ? 
SEMPSTER : Yes Madame, I most humbly thanke you. 
Beleeve me you have bestowed your money very well, 
and you have good cheap. Will you buye no shirts, ruffes, 
Falling bandes, handkerchers, night-coyfes, Falles, sockes, 
edged lace, Boote-hosen wrought, Or any other thing that 
we have ? All is at your commaundement. 
LADY : Not for this time I thanke you, farewell my she 

SEMPSTER : Madame, God have you in his keeping. 
LADY : Page goe see if the Coach be ready, Runne quickly. 
Coach-man we must alight in Cheapside, at the Mercers 
and Gold-smiths. 


The French Garden (1605) 


There be many Witches at this day in Lapland, who sell 
winds to Mariners for money. 


The Profane State : The Witch (1642) 


In every village once in each year it was done as follows : 
When the maidens grew to the age for marriage, they . . . 
brought them in a body to one place, and round them stood 
a company of men: and the crier caused each one severally 
to stand up, and proceeded to sell them, first the most 
comely of all, and afterwards . . . the most comely after her. 
. . . Now all the wealthy men of the Babylonians who were 
ready to marry vied with one another in bidding for the 
most beautiful maidens ; those however of the common 
sort who were ready to marry did not require a fine form, 
but they would accept money together with less comely 


History (5th cent. B.C.) 
Trans. G. C. Macaulay 




It is very agreeable to beget children, but, by Hercules, 
it's much more agreeable still to be free. 

PLAUTUS, Miles Gloriosus (c. 225 B.C.) 


" Art thou young ? Then match not yet ; if old, match 
not at all." . . . And therefore . . . still make answere to 
thy friends that importune thee to marry, adhuc intern- 
pestivum, 'tis yet unseasonable, and ever will be. 

Consider withall how free, how happy, how secure, how 
heavenly, in respect, a single man is, as he said in the 
Comoedie ..." that which all my neighbours admire and 
applaud me for, account so great an happinesse, I never 
had a wife " ; consider how contentedly, quietly, neatly, 
plentifully, sweetly, and how merrily he lives ! hee hath no 
man to care for but himselfe, none to please, no charge, 
none to controll him, is tied to no residence, no cure to 
serve, may goe and come, when, whether, live where he 
will, his owne master, and doe what he list himselfe. Con- 
sider the excellency of Virgins ; Virgo coelum meruit, a 
virgin merits heaven, marriage replenished! the earth, 

UP 609 

but virginity Paradise ; Elias, Eliseus, John Baptist, were 
batchelors : Virginity is a pretious Jewel, a faire garland, 
a never-fading flowre, for why was Daphne turned to a 
green bay-tree, but to shew that virginity is immortall ? 
. . . Virginity is a fine picture, as Bonaventure calls it, a 
blessed thing in itselfe, and if you will believe a Papist, 
meritorious. And although their be some inconveniences, 
irksomenesse, solitarinesse, &c. incident to such persons, 
quae aegro assideat et curet aegrotum, fomentum paret, 
embracing, dalliance, kissing, colling, &c, those furious 
motives and wanton pleasures a new-married life most part 
enjoyes ; yet they are but toyes in respect, easily to be 
endured, if conferred to those frequent encombrances 
of marriage. Solitarinesse may be otherwise avoided with 
mirth, musick, good company, businesse, imployment ; 
... for their good nights, he shall have good dayes. . . . 
Thinke of these things, conferre both lives, and consider 
last of all these commodious prerogatives a Batchelor hath, 
how well he is esteemed, how hartily welcome to all his 
friends. . . . But if thou marry once, . . . bethinke thy 
selfe what a slavery it is, what a heavy burden thou shalt 
undertake, how hard a taske thou art tyed to ... and how 
continuate, what squalor attends it, what irksomenesse, 
what charges . . . besides a Myriade of cares, miseries, and 
ROBERT BURTON, Anatomy of Melancholy (Edition 1632) 


SIR ABEL HANDY : Where will you go ? I'll go anywhere 
you like Will you go to Bath, or Brighton, or Peters- 
burgh, or Jerusalem, or Seringapatam ? all the same to 


me we single fellows we rove about nobody cares for 
us we care for nobody. 

THOMAS MORTON, Speed the Plough (1800) 


I would be married, but I'de have no Wife, 
I would be married to a single Life. 

RICHARD CRASHAW, Delights of the Muses (1646) 


I hope in a few days to be at leisure, and to make visits. 
Whither I shall fly is matter of no importance. A man 
unconnected is at home everywhere ; unless he may be 
said to be at home nowhere. 

SAMUEL JOHNSON, Letter to Joseph Simpson (1759) 


Because the blush of modesty, and youth without blemish 
were your inclination, because you tasted none of the 
pleasures of the marriage bed, behold, the honours of the 
virgin are kept for you. With your bright head chapleted 
by a glittering crown, and bearing the delightful shade of a 
branch of palm, you will eternally celebrate immortal 
nuptials ; where song is, and the lyre rages, mingled with 
happy dances, and festal orgies are celebrated with the 
thyrsus of Sion. JOHN MILTON 

Epitaphium Damonis (1639) (Translated) 


I am attracted to perpetual spinsterhood not by prejudice, 
but rather by natural inclination. 


(To Ambassador of the Duke of Wurtemberg) 



He loves still to have the Sun witnesse of his rising ; and 
lies long more for lothnesse to dresse him, then will he 
sleepe : and after some streaking and yawning, calles for 
dinner, unwashed ; which having digested with a sleepe in 
his chaire, he walks forth to the bench in the Market- 
place, and looks for companions ; whomsoever he meets, 
he stayes with idle questions, and lingring discourse : how 
the daies are lengthened, how kindly the weather is, how 
false the clocke, how forward the Spring, and ends ever 
with What shall we doe ? . . . When all the people are gone 
from Church, hee is left sleeping in his seat alone. . . . 
When he is warned on a Jurie, hee had rather pay the 
mulct than appeare. All but that which Nature will not 
permit, he doth by a deputie. ... He had rather freeze 
then fetch wood, and chuses rather to steale then worke, to 
begge then take paines to steale, and in many things to 


want then begge. Hee is so loth to leave his neighbors fire, 
that he is faine to walke home in the darke and if he be not 
lookt to, weares out the night in the chimney-corner. 


Characters of Vertues and Vices (1608) 


Johnson told me that " Taylor was a very sensible acute 
man, and had a strong mind ; that he had great activity in 
some respects, and yet such a sort of indolence, that if you 
should put a pebble upon his chimney-piece you would 
find it there, in the same state, a year afterwards," 

Life of Johnson (1791) 


Hang work ! 

I wish that all the year were holiday ; I am sure that 
indolence, indefeasible indolence is the true state of 
man, and business the invention of the old Teazer, whose 
interference doomed Adam to an apron and set him a- 
hoeing. Pen and ink, and clerks and desks, were the re- 
finements of this old torturer some thousand years after, 
under pretence of " Commerce allying distant shores, 
promoting and diffusing knowledge, good," etc. etc. 


Letter to William Wordsworth (1805) 



This herbe is called Nicotiana of the name of an ambas- 
sadour which broght the first knowledge of it into this 
realme. . . . 

The Spaniards call it Tabaco. Some call it the holy 
herbe, because (as I thinke) of his holy and marvueilous 
effects. . . . Notwithstanding it were better to call it 
Nicotiana, after the name of the Lord which first sent it 
into France, to the end that we may give him the honour 
which he hath deserved of us, for having furnished our 
land with so rare and singular an herbe. . . . 

The inhabitance of Florida doe feede themselves a 
certain space with the fume of this herbe (whatsoever a 
certaine new Cosmographer say to the contrary, who 
seeketh by his lies to triumph over us in this respect) 
which they take at the mouth, by meanes of certaine small 

And the truth hereof we gather from them which have 
beene in Florida, and by mariners comming daily from 
the Indies, which hanging about their neckes little pipes 
or homes made of the leaves of the date tree, or of reedes, 
or of rushes, at the endes of which little homes there are 


put and packt many drie leaves of this plant, writhen to- 
gether and broken. They put fire to this end of the pipe, 
receiving and drawing in with their breath at their mouth 
wide open, so much of this fume as possibly they can, 
and affirme thereupon that they finde their hunger and 
thirst satisfied, their strength recovered, their spirites 
rejoyced, and their braine drencht with a delightsome 

CHARLES ESTIENNE, La Maison Rustique (1572) 
Trans. Richard Surflet (1600) 


I have been told that in the last great plague at London 
none that kept tobacconist's shops had the plague. It is 
certain, that smoaking it was looked upon as a most 
excellent preservative. In so much that even children 
were obliged to smoak. And I remember, that I heard 
formerly Tom Rogers . . . say, that when he was, when 
the plague raged, a school-boy at Eaton, all the boys of 
that school were obliged to smoak in the school every 
morning, and that he was never whipped so much in his 
life as he was one morning for not smoaking. 

THOMAS HEARNE, Diary (Jan. 21, 1721) 


He tooke a pipe of tobacco a little before he went to the 
scaffold, which some formall persons were scandalized 


at/ but I thinke 'twas well and properly donne, to settle his 
JOHN AUBREY, Brief Lives : Sir Walter Raleigh (c. 1680) 


Here could I tell you how upon the seas 
Some men have fasted with it fortie daies, . . . 
How a dull Cynick by the force of it 
Hath got a pleasing gesture and good wit . . . 
How many Cowards base and recreant 
By one pipes draught were turned valiant, 
And after in an artificiall mist 
Have overthrowne their foes before they wist : 
How one that dreamt of a Tabacco roll 
Though sick before, was straight made perfect 

ANON. The Metamorphosis of Tabacco (1602) 


Homer of Moly and Nepenthe sings, 
Moly the Gods most soveraigne Hearbe divine, 
Nepenthe Heavens drinke most gladnesse brings, 
Hearts griefe expels, and doth the wits refine 
But this our age another world hath found, 
From whence an hearbe of Heavenly power is 


Moly is not so soveraigne for a wound, 
Nor hath Nepenthe so great wonders wrought. 

It is Tobacco, whose sweet substantiall fume 

The hellish torment of the teeth doth ease, 

By drawing downe, and drying up the rewme, 

The Mother and the Nurse of each disease. 

It is Tobacco which doth colde expell, 

And cleares the obstructions of the Arteries, 

And surfets threatning Death digesteth well. 

Decocting all the stomackes crudities. 

It is Tobacco which hath power to clarifie 

The clowdie mists before dim eyes appearing, 

It is Tobacco which hath power to rarifie 

The thick grose humour which doth stop the 


The wasting Hectique, and the Quartain Fever, 
Which doth of Physique make a mockerie, 
The gowt it cures, and helps ill breaths for ever, 
Whether the cause in Teeth or stomacke be. 
And thoug ill breaths were by it but confounded, 
Yet that Medicine it doth Farre excell, 
Which by sir Thomas Moore hath bin propounded, 
For this is thought a Gentleman-like smell. 

SIR JOHN DAVIES, Of Tobbacco (1586) 


For Tobacco being a common herbe, which (though under 
divers names) growes almost everywhere, was first found 
out by some of the barbarous Indians, to be a Preservative 
or Antidot against the Pockes, a filthy disease, whereunto 
these barbarous people are (as all men know) very much 
subject. . . . And now, good Countrey men let us (I pray 

you) consider what honour or politic can moove us to imi- 
tate the barbarous and beastly manners of the wilde, god- 
lesse and slavish Indians, especially in so vile and stinkinge 
a custom ? Shall wee that disdaine to imitate the maners 
of our neighbour France . . . and that cannot endure the 
spirit of the Spaniards . . . shall we, I say, without blush- 
ing abase our selves so farre, as to imitate these beastly 
Indians, slaves to the Spaniards refuse to the world, and as 
yet aliens to the holy Covenant of God ? Why doe we 
not as well imitate them in walking naked as they do ? in 
preferring glasses, feathers, and such toyes, to golde and 
precious stones, as they do ? yea, why do we not dcnie 
God and adore the Devill, as they doe ? . . . 

Is it not both great vanitie and uncleannessee that at the 
table, a place of respect, of cleanlinesse, of modestie, men 
should not be ashamed to sit tossing of Tobacco pipes, 
and puffing of the smoke of Tobacco one to another, making 
the filthy smoke and stinke thereof to exhale athwart the 
dishes and infect the aire, when, very often, men that 
abhor it are at their repast ? . . . And is it not a great 
vanitie, that a man cannot heartily welcome his friend now, 
straight they must bee in hand with Tobacco ? . . . He but 
that will refuse to take a pipe of Tobacco among his fcl- 
lowes, (though by his own election he would rather fccle 
the savour of a Sinke) is accounted peevish and no good 
company, even as they doe with tippling in the cold 
Eastern Countries. . . . 

A custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, 
harmfull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in 
the blacke stinking fume thereof, neerest resembling the 
horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomlesse. 


A Counterblaste to Tobacco (1604) 


The Indian weede withered quite, 
Greene at noon, cut downe at night ; 
Shows thy decay, all flesh is hay : 
Thus thinke, then drinke, Tobacco. 

The Pipe that is so lilly-white, 
Shews thee to be a mortall Wight, 
And even such gone with a touch : 
Thus thinke, then drinke Tobacco. 

And when the Smoake ascends on high, 
Thinke thou behold'st the Vanitie 
Of worldly stuffe, gone with a puffe ; 
Thus thinke, then drinke Tobacco. 

And when the Pipe grows foule within, 
Think on the Soule defil'd with Sinne, 
And then the Fire it doth require : 
Thus thinke, then drinke Tobacco. 

The Ashes that are left behinde 
May serve to put thee still in minde, 
That unto Dust returne thou must : 
Thus thinke, then drinke Tobacco. 

THOMAS JENNER, The Soule's Solace (1631) 


And as one said, but falsely, the bodies of such English- 
men as are so much delighted with this plant, did seeme 
to degenerate into the nature of the Savages. 

WILLIAM CAMDEN, Annales (trans. 1625) 




Tho' the ill-natur'd world censures you for smoaking, 
yet I would advise you. Madam, not to part with so inno- 
cent a diversion : in the first place, it is healthful, and as 
Galen, de usu partium, rightly observes, is a sovereign 
remedy for the tooth-ach, the constant persecutor of Old 
Ladies. Secondly, tho' it be a heatthenish weed, it is a 
great help to Christian meditations ; which is the reason, 
I suppose, that recommends it to your parsons ; the 
generality of whom can no more write a sermon without 
a pipe in their mouth than a Concordance in their hands : 
besides, every pipe you break may serve to put you in 
mind of Mortality, and shew you upon what slender acci- 
dents man's Life depends. I know a Dissenting Minister 
who on fast-days used to mortify upon a Rump of Beef, 
because it put him, as he said, in mind that all flesh was 
grass ; but I'm sure much more is to be learnt from To- 
bacco : it may instruct you that riches, beauty, and all the 
glories of the World vanish like a Vapour. Thirdly, it is 
a pretty play-thing : a pipe is the same to an old woman 
that a gallant is to a young one. . . . Fourthly and lastly, 
it is fashionable, at least 'tis in a fair way of becoming so ; 
cold tea, you know, has been a long while in reputation 
at court, and the gill as naturally ushers in the pipe as the 
forward-bearer walks before the Lord Mayor. 

I am your Ladyship's humble servant. 


Letter to an Old Lady (c. 1690) 


Little Tube of mighty Pow'r, 
Charmer of an idle Hour, 
Object of my warm Desire, 
Lip of wax and eye of fire : 
And they snowy taper waist, 
With my finger gently brac'd ; 
And they pretty swelling crest, 
With my little Stoper press'd, 
And the sweetest bliss of blisses 
Breathing from thy balmy kisses. 
Happy thrice and thrice agen, 
Happiest he of happy men ; 
Who when agen the night returns, 
When agen the Paper burns ; 
When agen the cricket's gay, 
(Little cricket, full of play) 
Can afford his tube to feed 
With the fragrant Indian weed ; 
Pleasure for a nose divine, 
Incense of the God of Wine, 
Happy thrice, and thrice agen, 
Happiest he of happy men. 

ISAAC HAWKINS BROWNE, A Pipe of Tobacco (1735) 


Tabacco that excellent plant, the use thereof , . . the world 
cannot want, is that little shop of Nature, wherein her 


whole workeman-ship is abridg'd, where you may see 
Earth kindled into fire, the fire breath out an exhalation 
which entring in at the mouth walkes through the Regions 
of a mans brayne, drives out all ill Vapours but itselfe 
drawes downe all bad Humours by the mouth, which in 
time might breed a Scabbe over the whole body if already 
they have not ; a plant of singular use, for on the one 
side ; Nature being an Enemie to Vacuitie and emptines, 
and on the other, there beeing so many empty braynes 
in the World as there are, how shall Natures course be 
continued ? How shall these empty braines be filled, but 
with ayre, Natures immediate instrument to that pur- 
pose ? If with ayre, what so proper as your fume : what 
fume so healthfull as your perfume ? what perfume so 
soveraigne as Tabacco ? Besides the excellent edge it gives 
a mans wit, (as they can best judge that have been present 
at a feast of Tabacco where commonly all good Witts are 
conforted) what varietie of discourse it bcgctts ? What 
sparkes of wit it yeelds, it is a world to heare : as likewise 
to the courage of a man. . . . For the diseases of the Court, 
they are out of the Element of Garlick to medicine ; to 
conclude as there is no enemy to Tabacco but Garlick, 
so there is no friend to Garlick but a sheeps head and so 
I conclude. 


Monsieur D' Olive (1606) 


BOBADILLA : Signior beleeve me ... I have been in the 
Indies (where this herbe growes) where neither myselfe, 


nor a dozen Gentlemen more (of my knowledge) have 
received the taste of any other nutriment in the world 
for the space of one and twentie weekes, but Tabacco 
onely. Therefore it cannot be but 'tis most divine. Further 
... it makes an Antidote, that (had you taken the most 
deadly poysonous simple in all Florence) it should expell 
it, and clarifie you, with as much ease as I speak ... I 
professe myselfe no quack-salver ; only thus much : by 
Hercules I doe holde it, and will affirme it (before any 
Prince in Europe) to be the most soveraigne and pretious 
herbe, that ever the earth tendred to the use of man. 

COB : By gods deynes : I marie what pleasure or felicitie 
they have in taking this rogish Tabacco : it's good for 
nothing but to choke a man, and fill him full of smoake 
and imbers : there were foure died out of one house last 
weeke with taking of it, and two more the bell went for 
yester-night, one of them (they say) will ne're scape it, he 
voyded a bushell of soote yester-day, upward and downe- 
ward. . . . Fid have it present death, man or woman, that 
should but deale with a Tabacco pipe ; why, it will stifle 
them all in th' end as many as use it ; it's little better than 
rats bane. 

Every Man in his Humor (1601) 


The Physicall and chirurgicall uses of it are not a few ; and 
being teken in a pipe it helpeth aches in any part of the 


bodie ; being good also for the kidneys by expelling wind. 
But beware of cold after it ; neither take it wantonly, nor 
immoderately ... for we see that the use is too frequently 
turned into an abuse, and the remedie is proved a disease ; 
and all through a wanton and immoderate use. For Omne 
nimium vertitur in vitium. 

To quaff e, roar, swear and drinke Tobacco 
Is fit for such as pledge sick healths in hell : 
Where wanting wine, and ale, and beer to drink, 
Their cups are filled with smoke, fire, fume and stink. 

. . . The women of America (as Gerard mentions in his 
Herball) do not use to take Tobacco, because they perswade 
themselves it is too strong for the constitution of their 
bodies : and yet some women of England use it often, as 
well as men ... It is said that Sir Francis Drakes mariners 
brought the first of this herb into England in the year 
1585, which was in the 28 yeare of Q, Elizabeth. 

Speculum Mundi (1635) 


Sublime tobacco ! which from East to West 
Cheers the Tar's labour or the Turkman's rest ; 
Which on the Moslem's ottoman divides 
His hours, and rivals opium and his brides ; 
Magnificent in Stamboul, but less grand, 
Though not less loved, in Wapping and the Strand 
Divine in hookahs, glorious in a pipe, 
When tipp'd with amber, mellow, rich and ripe ; 

Like other charmers, wooing the caress, 
More dazzlingly when daring in full dress ; 
Yet they true lovers more admire by far 
Thy naked beauties give me a cigar ! 

LORD BYRON, The Island (1823) 


" Smoking has gone out. To be sure, it is a shocking thing, 
blowing smoke out of our mouths into other people's 
mouths, eyes and noses, and having the same thing done 
to us. Yet I cannot account why a thing which requires so 
little exertion, and yet preserves the mind from total 
vacuity, should have gone out. Every man has something 
by which he calms himself: beating with his feet, or so." 
JAMES BOSWELL, Life of Johmon (1791) 



Of the Rev. William Collier, B.D. . . . I have previously 
spoken, as having taken an emigrant Countess under his 
protection. He had been Tutor of the college [Trinity], and 
was for nearly twenty years Professor of Hebrew ; he was 


an admirable classic, and particularly well versed in modern 
languages (at that time a very rare accomplishment in the 
University). Collier led a most dissolute life ; he was also 
a notorious gourmand. An anecdote I had from his own 
mouth will prove his title to the latter character. 

" When I was last in town," said he, " I was going to 
dine with a friend, and passed through a small court, just 
as a lad was hanging up a board on which was this tempt- 
ing inscription " A roast pig this instant set upon the 
table ! " The invitation was irresistible I ordered a 
quarter; it was very delicate and very delicious. I despatched 
a second and a third portion, but was constrained to leave 
one quarter behind, as my dinner hour was approaching, 
and my friend was remarkably punctual." (1798) 


Reminiscences of Cambridge (1852) 


A very working head, in so much that, walking and medi- 
tating before dinner, he would eate-up a penny loafe, not 
knowing that he did it. 


Brief Lives : Thomas Fuller (c. 1680) 


From thence I rowed to another port, called by the nat- 
urals Piche, and by the Spaniardes Tierra de Brea. In the 


way betweene both were divers little brooks of fresh 
water, and one salt river that had store of oisters upon the 
branches of the trees, and were very salt and wel tasted. 
Al their oisters grow upon those boughs and spraies, and 
not on the ground : the like is commonlie scene in the 
West Indies and else where. 


The Discoverie of Guiana (1596) 


A dose of salts has the effect of a temporary inebriation, 
like light champagne, on me. 


Diary (Jan. 6, 1821) 


Read Diodorus Siculus turned over Seneca and some 
other books. Wrote some more of the tragedy. Took a glass 
of grog. After having ridden hard in rainy weather, and 
scribbled, and scribbled again, the spirits (at least mine) 
need a little exhilaration, and I don't like laudanum now as 
I used to do. So I have mixed a glass of strong waters and 
single waters, which I shall now proceed to empty. . . . 
The effect of all wines and spirits upon me is, however, 
strange. It settles, but it makes me gloomy. 


(Jan. 14, 1821) 


I have drank as many as fifteen bottles of soda-water in 
one night, after going to bed, and been still thirsty calcu- 
lating, however, some lost from the bursting out and 
effervescence and overflowing of the soda-water in drawing 
the corks, or striking off the necks of the bottles in mere 
thirsty impatience. 

Ibid. (Feb. 2, 1821) 


How do you manage ? I think you told me, at Venice, 
that your spirits did not keep up without a little claret. I 
can drink, and bear a good deal of wine (as you may recollect 
in England) : but it don't exhilarate it makes me savage 
and suspicious. Laudanum has a similar effect ; but I can 
take much of it without any effect at all. The thing that 
gives me the highest spirits (it seems absurd, but true) is 
a dose of salts I mean in the afternoon, after their effect. 
But one can't take them like champagne. 

Ibid. Letter to Thomas Moore (1821) 


The solicitations of sense are always at hand, and a dram to 
a vacant and solitary person is a speedy and seducing relief. 


Anecdotes of Dr. Johnson (1786) 


A dew-bite and breakfast, a stay-bite and dinner, a mum- 
met and a crummet, and a bite after supper. 

ANON. A Centenarian's recipe for long life 


A good, formall, precise Monister in the Isle of Wight us't 
to say that a glasse or two of wine extraordinarie would 
make a man praise God with much alacritie. 


Merry Jests and Conceits (1630-55) 


MR. WOODHOUSE : " You must go to bed early, my dear, 
and I recommend a little gruel to you before you go. You 
and I will have a nice basin of gruel together. My dear 
Emma, suppose we all have a little gruel." 

Emma could not suppose any such thing, knowing as 
she did that both the Mr Knightleys were as unpersuad- 
able on that article as herself, and two basins only were 
ordered. . . . 

The gruel came, and supplied a great deal to be said 
much praise and many comments undoubting decision of 
its wholesomeness for every constitution, and pretty severe 
philippics upon the many houses where it was never met 
with tolerable. JANE AUSTEN> Emma (1816) 



" What should you say to a drop o' beer, genTmen ? " 
suggested the mottle-faced man. . . . 

" And a little bit o' cold beef," said the second coach- 

" Or a oyster/' added the third, who was a hoarse 
gentleman, supported by very round legs. 

" Hear, hear ! " said Pell, " to congratulate Mr. Weller 
on his coming into possession of his property : eh ? ha 
ha ! " 

" Fm quite agreeable, genTmen," answered Mr 
Weller. " Sammy, pull the bell." . . . 

Where everybody took so active a part, it is almost 
invidious to make a distinction : but if one individual 
evinced greater prowess than another, it was the coach- 
man with the hoarse voice, who took an imperial pint of 
vinegar with his oysters, without betraying the least 


Pickwick Papers (1836) 


I suppose no person ever enjoyed with more relish the 
infusion of that fragrant leaf than Johnson. The quantities 
which he drank of it at all hours were so great, that his 
nerves must have been uncommonly strong not to have 
been extremely relaxed by such an intemperate use of it. 
He assured me, that he never felt the least inconvenience 


Life of Johnson (1791) 


Though he usually eat seven or eight large peaches of a 
morning before breakfast began, and treated them with 
proportionate attention after dinner again, yet I have 
heard him protest that he never had quite as much as he 
wished of wall-fruit, except once in his life, and that was 
... at Ombersley, the seat of my Lord Sandys. 

HESTHER Piozzi, Anecdotes of Dr. Johnson (1786) 


They [the Presbyterians and Independents] would also 
entertaine each other in their chambers with edibles, and 
somtimes ... at a cook's house that had a back-way, and 
be very merry and frolicsome. Nay, such that had come 
from Cambridg and had gotten fellowships would be more 
free of entertainment than any, and instead of a cup of 
college beare and stir'd machet which use to be the antient 
way of entertaining in a College at 3 or 4 in the afternoon, 
they would entertaine with tarts, custards, chcescaks, 
or any other junkets that were in season ; and that fashion 
continued among the generalitie till the restauration. 

ANTHONY WOOD, Life and Times (1659) 


About every 3 houres his man was to bring him a roll and 
a pott of ale to refocillate his wasted spirits. So he studied 


and dranke, and munched some bread ; and this main- 
tained him till night ; and then he made a good supper. 
Now he did well not to dine, which breakes of one's 
fancy, which will not presently be regained : and 'tis with 
invention as a flux when once it is flowing, it runnes 
amaine ; if it is checked, flowes but guttim : and the like 
for perspiration check it, and 'tis spoyled. Goclenius, 

professor at in Germany, did better; he kept bottles 

of Rhenish wine in his studie, and when his spirits 
wasted, dranke a good rummer of it. 


Brief Lives : William Prynne (1680) 



A girl said to her sister, late, when their friends had gone : 
" I wish there were no men on earth, but we alone. 

cc The beauty of your body, the beauty of your face 
That now are greedy flames, and clasp more than them- 
selves in light, 

Pierce awake the drowsing air and boast before the night 
Then should be of less account than a dark reed's grace, 
All Summer growing in river mists, unknown 
The beauty of your body, the beauty of my own. 


" When we two talk together, the words between us pass 
Across long fields, across drenched upland fields of grass. 
Like words of men who signal with flags in clear weather. 
When we two are together, I know before you speak 
Your answers, by your head's turn and shadows on your 

Running of wind on grass, to bring out thoughts together. 

" We should live as though all day were the day's first hour, 
All light were the first daylight, that whistles from so far, 
That still the blood with distance. We should live as 

All seasons were the earliest Spring, when only birds are 

When the low, crouched bramble remembers still the 

And woods are but half unchained from the Winter's 


We should be gay together, with pleasures primrose-cool, 
Scattered, and quick as Spring's are, by thicket and chill 


cc Oh, to-night," the girl said, " I wish that I could sit 
All my life here with you, all my life unlit. 
To-morrow I shall love again the Summer's valour, 
Heavy heat of noon, and the night's mysteries, 
And love, like the sun's touch, that closes up my eyes 
To-morrow : but to-night," she said, as night ran on, 
" I wish there was no love on earth but ours alone." 

A Girl to her Sister (1932) 




Now purer aire 

Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires 
Vernal delight and joy, able to drive 
All sadness but despair : now gentle gales 
Fanning their odoriferous wings dispense 
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole 
Those balmie spoiles. As when to them who sail 
Beyond the Cape of Hope,, and now are past 
Mozambic, off at Sea North-East windes blow 
Sabean Odours from the spicie shoare 
Of Arabie the blest, with such delay 
Well pleas'd they slack thir course, and many a 


Cheard with those odorous sweete the Fiend 
Who came thir bane, though with them better 


Then Asmodeus with the fishie fume, 
That drove him, though enamoured, from the 

Of T obits Son. 


Paradise Lost, Book IV (1667) 


. . . within scent of those fragrant orchards which are on 
this coast, full of princely retirements for the sumptuous- 
nesse of their buildings, and noblenesse of their planta- 
tions, especially those at St Pietro d'Arena ; from whence, 
the wind blowing as it did, might perfectly be smelt the 
peculiar joys of Italy in the perfumes of orange, citron, 
and jassmine flowers, for divers leagues seaward. 

JOHN EVELYN, Diary (October 1644) 


Sir, I prepare in this short Discourse an expedient ... to 
render not only Your Majesties Palace, but the whole City 
likewise, one of the sweetest and most delicious Habita- 
tions in the World ; ... by improving those Plantations 
which Your Majesty so laudably affects ... as upon every 
gentle emission through the Aer, should so perfume the 
adjacent places with their breath ; as if, by a certain 
charm, or innocent Magick, they were transferred to that 
part of Arabia, which is therefore styled the Happy, be- 
cause it is amonst the Gums and precious Spices. Those 
who take notice of the scent of the Orange-flowers from 
the Rivage of Genoa, and St Pietro dell' Arena ; the Bios- 
somes of the Rosemary from the Coasts of Spain many 
Leagues off at Sea ; or the manifest and odoriferous waft 
which flow from Fontenay and Vaurigard, even to Paris, in 
the season of Roses, with the contrary Effects of those less 
pleasing Smells from other accidents, will easily consent 
to what I suggest : And I am able to enumerate a Catalogue 

of native Plants, and such as are familiar to our Country 
and Clime, whose redolent and agreeable Emissions would 
even ravish our senses, as well as perfectly improve and 
meliorate the Aer about London. . . . Such as are (for in- 
stance amongst many others) the Sweet-brier, all the Peri- 
clymenas and Woodbinds ; the Common white and yellow 
Jessamine, both the Syringas or Pipe trees ; the Guelder- 
rose, the Musk, and all other Roses ', Genista Hispanica : 
. . . Bayes, Jumpier . . . Lavender : but above all Rosemary, 
the Flowers whereof are credibly reported to give their 
scent above thirty Leagues off at Sea, upon the coasts of 
Spain ; and at some distance towards the Meadow side, 
Vines, yea Hops. . . . For there is a very sweet smelling 
Sally, and the blossoms of the Lime-tree are incomparably 
fragrant ; in brief, whatever is odoriferous and refreshing. 


Fumifugium : Or the Smoake of London Dissipated (1661) 


And because the Breath of Flowers is farre Sweeter in 
the Aire (where it comes and goes, like the Warbling of 
Musick) then in the hand, therfore nothing is more fit 
for that delight then to know what be the Flowers and 
Plants that doe best perfume the Aire. Roses Damask and 
Red are fast Flowers of their Smels ; So that you may 
walke by a whole Row of them, and finde Nothing of their 
Sweetnesse ; Yea though it be in a Mornings Dew. Bayes 
likewise yeeld no Smell as they grow. Rosemary little ; 
Nor Sweet-Marjoram. That, which above all Other 
yeelds the Sweetest Smell in the Aire, is the Violet . . . 


Next to that is the Muske-Rose. Then the Strawberry- 
Leaves dying, which yeeld a most Excellent Cordiall 
Smell. Then the Flower of the Vines ; It is a little dust, 
like the dust of a Bent, which growes upon the Cluster, 
in the First comming forth. Then Sweet-Briar. Then Wall- 
Flowers, which are very Delightfull, to be set under a 
Parler, or Lower Chamber Window . . . Then the Flowers 
of the Lime-Tree. Then the Hony-suckles, so they be 
somewhat a farre off. . . . But those which Perfume the 
Aire most delightfully, not passed by as the rest, but being 
Troden upon and Crushed, are Three : That is Burnet, 
Wilde-Time, and Water-Mints. Therefore, you are to set 
whole Allies of them, to have the Pleasure when you walk 
or Tread. . . . 

FRANCIS BACON, Essays. Of Gardens (1625) 


I was saying to a friend . . . that I did not like goose ; one 
smells it so while it is roasting, said I. " But you, Madam," 
(replies the Doctor) " have been at all times a fortunate 
woman, having always had your hunger so forestalled by 
indulgence, that you never experienced the delight of 
smelling your dinner beforehand." 

HESTHER Piozzi, Anecdotes of Dr Johnson (1786) 


Good Spirits are delighted and allured by sweet Per- 
fumes, as rich Gums, Frankincense, Salt, &c. which was 

6 37 

the reason that the Priests of the Gentiles, and also the 
Christians, used them in their Temples, and Sacrifices : 
and on the contrary, Evil Spirits are pleased and allured 
and called up by Suffumigations of Henbane, &c., stink- 
ing Smells, &c., which the Witches do use in their Con- 
juration. j OHN AUBREY, Miscellanies (1696) 


It is said that other trees have been discovered by them 
which yield fruit of such a kind that when they have 
assembled together in companies in the same place and 
lighted a fire, they sit round in a circle and throw some of 
it into the fire, and they smell the fruit which is thrown on, 
as it burns, and are intoxicated by the scent as the Hellenes 
are with wine, and when more of the fruit is thrown on they 
become more intoxicated, until at last they rise up to 
dance and begin to sing. This is said to be the manner of 
their living. HERODOTUS, History (5th cent. B.C.) 

Trans. G. C. Macaulay 


MRS FORESIGHT : Well, but Miss, what are you so over- 
joy'd at ? 

Miss : Look you here, Madam, then, what Mr Tattle has 
given me Look you here, Cousin, here's a Snuff-Box ; 
nay, there's Snuff in't ; here, will you have any Oh 
good ! how sweet it is Mr Tattle is all over sweet, his 


Perruke is sweet, and his Gloves are sweet and his 
Handkerchief is sweet, pure sweet, sweeter than Roses 
Smell him, Mother ... He gave me this Ring for a Kiss. 
TATTLE : O fie Miss, you must not kiss and tell. 
Miss : Yes ; I may tell my MotherAnd he says he'll 
give me something to make me smell so Oh pray lend 
me your Handkerchief Smell, Cousin ; he says, he'll 
give me something that will make my smocks smell this 
way Is it not pure ? It's better than Lavender mun 
I'm resolv'd I won't let Nurse put any more Lavender 
among my Smocks. 

WILLIAM CONGREVE, Love for Love (1695) 



Whereas the Hermit leades a sweet retyred life, 

From Villages repleate with ragg'd and sweating Clownes, 

And from the loathsome ayres of smoky cittied Townes. 

When as the Hermet comes out of his homely Cell, 
Where from all rude resort he happily doth dwell : 
Who in the strength of youth, a man at Armes hath been ; 
Or one who of this world the vilenesse having scene 
Retyres him from it quite ; and with a constant mind 
Mans beastliness so loathes, that flying humane kind, 


The black and darksome nights, the bright and gladsome 


Indifferent are to him, his hope on God that staies. 
Each little Village yeelds his short and homely fare : 
To gather wind-falne sticks, his great'st and onely care ; 
Which every aged tree still yeeldeth to his fire. 

This man, that is alone a King in his desire, 
By no proud ignorant Lord is basely over-aw'd . . . 
His free and noble thought nere envies at the grace 
That often times is given unto a Baud most base, 

. . . but absolutely free, 

His happy time he spends the works of God to see, 
In those so sundry hearbs which there in pleanty growe : 
Whose sundry strange effects he onely seeks to knowe. 
And in a little Maund, beeing made of Oziars small, 
Which serveth him to doe full many a thing withall, 
He very choicely sorts his Simples got abroad. 


Poly-Olbion. Song XIII (1613) 


Another time, when he happened to sup alone, and saw 
but one table and a very moderate provision, he called the 
servant who had the care of these matters, and expressed 
his dissatisfaction. The servant said, he thought as nobody 
was invited, his master would not want an expensive 
supper. " What ! " said he, " didst thou not know that 
this evening Lucullus sups with Lucullus ? " 


Lives (c. 100). Trans. J. and W. Langhorne (1770) 


This (says he) is one of the thousand reasons which ought 
to restrain a man from drony solitude and useless retire- 
ment. Solitude (added he one day) is dangerous to reason, 
without being favourable to virtue : . . . those who 
resist gaiety, will be likely to fall a sacrifice to appetite ; 
. . . Remember (continued he) that the solitary mortal is cer- 
tainly luxurious, probably superstitious, and possibly mad. 


Anecdotes of Dr Johnson (1786) 


As for Alcmoeon, he made his abode and residence upon 
the muddy banke, which the river Achelous had newly 
gathered and cast up, ... to avoid the pursute (as the Poets 
say) of the Furies ; but in my conceit rather, because he 
would decline the offices of State, civill magistrates, 
seditious broiles, and biting calumniations sib to furies in 
hel, he chose such a streight and narrow place to inhabit, 
where he might leade a life in quietnesse and repose, 
secured from all such busie affaires. ... In mine opinion, 
there is no reason that a man (unlesse he be very much 
besotted and transported with the vaine wind of popularity) 
when he is confined and enclosed within an island, should 
complaine of fortune . . . but rather praise her. . . . You 
may oftentimes there enjoy fully your rest and repose 
... for whereas when we are haply playing at dice, or 
otherwise keeping close at home, there will be some of 
these sycophants or busie priers and envious searchers 
into all our actions, ready to draw us out of our houses of 
WP 641 

pleasure in the suburbs, or out of our delightsome 
gardens, to make our appearance judicially in the common 
place, or to perform our service and give attendance in the 
Court : there will be none such about to saile into the 
Island where thou art confined for to trouble thee ; none 
will come to thee to demaund or crave any thing, to 
borrow monie, to request thy suretie-ship, or thy assist- 
ance for to second him in the sute of any office . . . unlesse 
peradventure some of thy best friends onely and nearest 
kinsfolke, of meere love and affectionate desire to see thee, 
saile over for thy sake ; for the rest of thy life besides is 
permitted to be as safe as a sanctuarie, not subject to any 
spoile, trouble, or molestation. 


Morals (c. 100) 
Trans. Philemon Holland (1603) 


Before I left London, I fained an hundred agreeable 
Melancholy Pleasures, with which I might Fool away a 
Retirement, but now I detest being alone. . . . Of this I 
am sure, that God Almighty rather than be alone created 
the Devil, and Man rather than be alone chose a Wife. 
Whatever advantage I have lost by my Country Life, I 
believe I have gain'd the gift of Prophesy in the Wilder- 
ness, for I foretold the Poem with which A has 

visited us. 

Letter to John Dennis (1695) 



Time, turning eternally, round, now that the spring grows 
warm calls again the young west winds. Earth, renewed, 
puts on her brief youth, and already the ground, unbound 
from frost, grows sweetly green. Am I wrong, or do my 
songs also gain renewed strength, and is genius the reward 
of spring ? . . . My breast stirs and burns with secret 
passion, and frenzy and holy sounds move me to the 
depths. Apollo himself comes, I see his locks twined with 
laurel of Peneus, Apollo is coining himself. . . . What high 
music does my spirit sound through my open lips ? What 
does this madness, this holy inspiration, bring forth ? Of 
spring, who has inspired me, I will sing, thus repaying 
her her gifts. . . . 

Earth, revived, lays aside loathed age, and desires, 
Phoebus, to enter thy embrace. She both desires and is 
worthy, for what is lovelier than she, as, luxuriantly 
all-bearing, she stretches out her breast, and breathes 
forth the harvests of Arabia, and from her beautiful mouth 
pours the gentle balsam and the roses of Paphos ? . . . 

Thus lascivious Earth breathes forth her passion, and 
all the mob of creatures run after their mother's example. 


Now truly Cupid runs roaming over the world. . . . And 
now he is striving to conquer the unconquered Diana 
herself. . . . Young men shout the marriage song about 
marble cities, and the shore and the hollow rocks echo 
lo Hymen ! Hymen comes, richly and beautifully adorn- 
ed. ... Now the Satyrs too, when twilight rises, fly in a 
swift band about the flowery country, and Sylvanus, 
chapletted with his own cypress, the god half goat, the 
goat half god. The Dryads, who have lain hid beneath 
ancient trees, now wander over the lonely fields. Through 
the sown fields and thickets Maenalian Pan runs riot . . . 
and desirous Faunus preys after some Oread, while the 
nymph takes thought for herself on fearful feet, and now 
she hides, and hiding, ill-sheltered, would fain be seen ; 
she flees, and fleeing, wishes herself caught. . . . 

O Phoebus, drive thy swift yoked steeds as slowly as 
thou canst, and let not the spring haste by. 


Elegia Quinta. In Adventum Veris (1628) 



When Phoebus lifts his head out of the Winteres wave 
No sooner doth the Earth her flowerie bosome brave, 
At such time as the Yeere brings on the pleasant Spring, 
But Hunts-up to the Morne the feathered Sylvans 


And in the lower Grove as on the rising Knole, 
Upon the highest spray of every mounting pole, 


Those Quirristers are pearcht with many a speckled 


Then from her burnisht gate the goodly glittring East 
Guilds every lofty top which late the humorous Night 
Bespangled had with pearle to please the Mornings sight. 
On which the mirthfull Quires with their cleere open 


Unto the joyfull Morne so straine their wobling notes 
That Hills and Valleys ring, and even the echoing Ayre 
Seemes all composed of sounds about them every where. 


Poly OJbion. Song XIII (1613) 


The Almond flourished!, the Birch trees flowe, 
the sad Mezereon Cheerefully doth Blowe. 
The flourie sonnes before their fathers seen, 
and snayles beginne to Crop the Mandrake green. 
The vernall sunne with Crocus gardens fills, 
with Hyacinths, Anemones, and Daffodills : 
The hazell Catskins now delate and fall, 
and Paronychions peep upon each wall. 


(Date unknown 




This sprunking is a Dutch word, the first as we hear of 
that Language that ever came in fashion with Ladies. 

Ladies' Dictionary (1694) 


You deceive us with faked hair represented by an oint- 
ment, Phoebus, and your bald scalp is covered with 
locks painted on it. MARTIAL 

Epigrams. Book VI. 57 (c. 84) 


Learn, girls, what attentions improve the face, and by what 
means your beauty may be kept up. . . . What is cultivated 
pleases. . . . Do not trust [for inspiring love] to herbs, 
or to mixed juices, nor try the noxious poison of an 
enamoured mare. . . . 


Learn how . . . your faces can shine fair. Strip barley 
. . . from its husk. Let an equal quantity of vetch be soaked 
in ten eggs : but let the stripped barley weigh two pounds. 
When this has been dried by the winds let the slow she-ass 
break it on the rough mill-stone : pound up with it the 
first horns that fall from a lively stag. . . . Add twelve 
narcissus bulbs without their sheaths . . . gums and Tuscan 
seed . . . and let nine times as much honey go with it. 
Whoever shall apply such a prescription to her face will 
shine smoother than her own mirror. Neither hesitate to 
parch pale lupin seeds, and with them beans that puff out 
the body. . . . Blemishes on the face disappear before a 
remedy from the plaintive birds-nest ; they call it Hal- 
cyonea. ... It is good to add fennel to fragrant myrrh . . . 
as much as one hand can hold of dried roses. . . . On these 
pour cream of barley. . . . Placed for a short time on your 
soft face, it will leave plenty of colour over all the counten- 
ance. I have seen some one pound up poppies wetted with 
cold water, and smear them on her tender cheeks. OVID 

De Medicamine Faciei Liber (c. 10 B.C.) 


Those women who paint their faces with rouge and their 
eyes with purple, whose faces, coated with plaster and 
spoilt by too much whiteness, remind us of idols, who, if 
by chance they shed a careless tear, show a furrow, . . . 
who pile themselves a head out of the hair of others, these 
are they who scandalise the eyes of Christians. 


Letter to Marcella (384) 


As to the use of pigments by women in colouring the face, 
in order to have a ruddier or a fairer complexion, this is 
a dishonest artifice, by which I am sure that even their 
own husbands do not wish to be deceived. 

ST AUGUSTINE, Letter to Possideus (c. 400) 


It hath towards the south part of the river, great quanti- 
ties of ... divers berries, that die a most perfect crimson 
and Carnation : And for painting, all France, Italy, or the 
east Indies, yeild none such : For the more the skyn is 
washed, the fayrer the cullour appeareth, and with which, 
even those brown and tawnie women spot themselves, and 
cullour their cheekes. 

SIR WALTER RALEIGH, Discoverie of Guiana (1596) 


Who hath not heard of her at Paris, which only to get 
a fresher hew of a new skin, endured to have her face flead 
all over ? There are some who, being sound, and in perfit 
health, have had some teeth puld-out, thereby to frame 
a daintier or more pleasing voyce, or to set them in better 
order ? How many examples of paine or smarte have we 
of that kind and sex ? What can they not doe ? What will 
they not doe ? What feare they to doe ? So they may but 
hope for some amendment of their beautie ? 


Vellere queis cura est albos a stirpe capillos> 
Et faciem dempta pelle referre novam. 

Who take great care to root out their gray haire, 
And skin flead-off a new face to repaire. 

I have scene some swallow gravell, ashes, coales, dust, 
tallow, candles and for the-nonce, labour and toyle them- 
selves to spoile their stomacke, only to get a pale-bleake 
colour. To become slender in wast, and to have a straight 
spagnolized body what pinching, what girding, what ting- 
ling will they not indure ; Yea sometimes with yron-plates, 
with whale-bones, and other such trash, that their very 
skin, and quicke flesh is eaten in and consumed to the 
bones ; Whereby they sometimes worke their owne death. 


Essays : That the taste of goods or evils doth greatly 

depend on the opinion we have of them (1580) 

Trans. John Florio (1603) 


The Br amines of Agra mark themselves in Forehead, Ears, 
and Throat, with a kind of yellow geare which they grind, 
and every morning they do it, and so do the women. The 
Gentiles of Indostan, men and women both, paint on their 
foreheads and other parts of their faces, red and yellow 
spots. The Cygnanians are of a horrid aspect, much like 
the people called Agathyres> of whom the poet Virgil 
speaketh, for they were all painted and spotted with sundry 
colours, and especially with black and red ... they paint 
themselves from the forehead even unto the knees. . . . 


A man would think them to be Divels incarnate broke out 
of Hell, they are so like hell-hounds. I am sure they violate 
and impudently affront Nature. . . . The Virginian women 
rase their Faces and whole Bodies with a sharp iron which 
makes a stamp in curious knots, and drawes the propor- 
tions of Fowls, Fishes, or Beasts ; then with Painting of 
sundry lively Colours they rub it into the stamp, which 
will never be taken away. . . . The Egyptian-Moores, both 
men and women, for love of each other distain their Chins 
with knots and flowers of blew, made by the pricking of 
the skin with needles, and rubbing it over with ink and the 
juice of an herb. . . . The Arabian women . . . paint their 
Faces, Breasts, Armes, and Hands, with a certain azured 
colour, thinking that they are very handsome after this 

Our English ladies, who seeme to have borrowed many 
of their Cosmetical conceits from barbarous Nations, are 
seldome known to be contented with a Face of God's 
making, for they are either adding, detracting, or altering 
continually. Sometimes they thinke they have too much 
colour, then they take much Physique to make them look 
pale and faire : Now they have too little colour, then 
Spanish-Paper, Red-Leather, and other Cosmetical 
Rubriques must be had. Yet for all this, it may be the 
skins of their Faces do not please them, off they go with 
Mercury-water, and so they remain like peeled ewes, until 
their Faces have recovered a new Epidermis. Sometimes 
they want a Mole to set off their beauty, such as Venus 
had, then it is well if one Black-Patch will serve to make 
their Faces remarkable, for some fill their Visages full of 
them, varied into all manner of shapes and figures, which 
is as odious and senseless an affectation as ever was used 
by any barbarous Nation in the world. . . . Effeminate 


Gallants ... of late have begun to vie patches and beauty- 
spots, nay painting, with the most tenderest and phantas- 
tical Ladies ... to the . . . high dishonour and abasement 
of the glory of mans perfection. JOHN BULWER 

Anthropometamorphosis : or, The Artificial 

Changeling (1650) 


In the West Indies, the Cumanans pluck off all the haire 
of their Eye-brows, taking great pride and using much 
superstition in that unnatural depilation. . . . Of old time, 
the women when their Eye-brows were long and broad, 
they made them narrow, subtile, and arched either with 
Pinsers or Sissers, and when they were yellow or white, 
they made them black with Soot, as you may read in 
Tertullian, Plautus, Athenaeus, Clemens Alexandinus, and 
others. . . . The American women do with a certain Fucus 
paint their Ey-browes, which they lay on with a pencil : 
A thing also usual with Frenchwomen., who have little 
modesty. j^. 


The Brasileans . . . pull off and eradicate the Haire growing 
on their Eye-lids. The Turks have a black powder . . . which 
with a fine pencil they lay under their Eye-lids, which 
doth colour them black, whereby the White of the Eye is 
set off more white : with the same powder also they colour 
the hairs of their Eye-lids. 



They of Cape Lopos Gonfalues, both men and women, use 
sometimes to make one of their Eyes white, the other red 
or yellow. 



The Tartarian women cut and pare their Noses between 
their Eyes, that they may seem more flat and saddle-nosed, 
leaving themselves no Nose at all in that place, annointing 
the very same place with a black oyntment ; which sight 
seemed most ugly in the eyes of Friar William de Rubra- 
quinS) a Frenchman, and his companions. 



The Macuasy . . . weare their Eares bored round with 
many holes, in which they have pegs of wood, slender 
like knitting-needles . . . which make them look like 
hedge-hogs ; this is part of their gallantry, for if they are 
sad, or crossed with any disaster, they have all these holes 
open. In Peru> the greatest Eares are ever esteemed the 
fairest, which with all Art and Industry they are contin- 
ually stretching out ; and a man . . . sweareth to have been 
in a Province of the East Indies, the people so careful to 
make them great, and so to load them with heavy Jewels, 
that at great ease he could have thrust his arme thorow 
one of their Bare-holes. 




The people of Molalia . . . account Red Teeth a great 
beautie, and therefore they colour their Teeth Red with 
Beetle. . . . The women of ... Orissa in India ... in a 
foolish pride black their Teeth, because Dogs teeth 
(forsooth) are white. In Cariaian the women use to gild 
their teeth. 



The Persins . . . illustrate their Arms and Hands, their 
Legs and Feet, with painted flowers and birds. . . . They 
paint their nails party-coloured white and vermelion. The 
Turkes paint their long nails red, and our Merchants that 
live there conform unto the custome. In the Kingdom of 
Goer, they paint their Nails yellow : and the nobler any 
one is, so much the longer his Nails : so that he is the best 
Gentleman whose Nails appears like Eagles claws. 



My Cabinets are Oyster-shells, 
In which I keep my Orient-Pearls, 
To open them I use the Tide, 
As Keys to Locks, which opens wide, 
The Oyster-shells, then out I take ; 

Those, Orient-Pearls and Crowns do make ; 

And modest Coral I do wear. 

Which blushes when it touches air. 

On Silver- Waves I sit and sing, 

And then the Fish lie listening : 

Then sitting on a Rocky Stone, 

I comb my Hair with Fishes bone. 

The whil'st Apollo, with his Beams, 

Doth dry my Hair from wat'ry streams. 

His Light doth glaze the Water's face, 

Make the large Sea my Looking- Glass ; 

So when I swim on Waters high, 

I see my self as I glide by : 

But when the Sun begins to burn, 

I back into my Waters turn, 

And dive unto the bottom low : 

Then on my head the Waters flow 

In Curled waves and Circles round ; 

And thus with Waters am I Crown'd. 


The Convent of Pleasure (1668) 


The nayles are also of a substance tingible and outwardly 
colourable, ... as I have seen in the Dominions of the 
Turk, where some not only guild the nayles, butt many 
colour them of a reddish colour which may bee anywhere 
performed by the powder of Alcanna or Cua steeped in 
a cloath to lay it upon the nayles some howers, butt this 
is no long lasting colour and must be renewed sometimes, 


and if it were, yett the nayles, growing in length, would at 
last carye it off. SIR THO MAS BROWNE 

Letter to his son Edward (1679) 


And Spanish paper. Lip and Cheek 
With Spittel sweetly to belick : 
Nor therefore spare in the next place 
The pocket sprunking Looking-glass : 
Calembuc combs in pulvil case 
To set and trim the hair and face : 
And that the cheeks may both agree, 
Plumpers to fill the cavity. . . . 

The table miroir, one glue pot, 
One for Pomatuma, and what not ? 
Of washes, unguents, and cosmeticks ; 
A pair of silver candlesticks ; 
Snuffers and snuff-dish ; boxes more, 
For powders, patches, waters store, 
In silver flasks, or bottles, cups 
Cover'd, or open, to wash chaps. . . . 
Of other waters, rich and sweet, 
To sprinkle Handkerchief is meet ; 
D'ange, orange, mill-fleur, myrtle, 
Whole quarts the Chamber to bequirtle. . . . 
Thus rigg'd the Vessel, and equipp'd, 
She is for all Adventures shipp'd. 


Mundus MuliebriS) or the Ladies Dressing-Room 

Unlocked (1690) 



But perhaps, with a panting heart, you carry your piece 
before a woman of quality. She gives the labours of your 
brain to her maid to be cut into shreds for curling her hair. 


Letter to M. Le Fevrier 


And now unveil'd, the Toilet stands display'd, 
Each silver Vase in mystic order laid. 
First, rob'd in white, the Nymph intent adores, 
With head uncover'd, the Cosmetick pow'rs, 
A heav'nly Image in the glass appears. 
To that she bends, to that her eyes she rears ; 
Th' Inferior Priestess, at her altar's side, 
Trembling begins the sacred rites of Pride. 
Unnumber'd treasures ope at once, and here 
The various off'rings of the world appear ; 
From each she nicely culls with curious toil 
And decks the Goddess with the glitt'ring spoil. 
This casket India's glowing gems unlocks, 
And all Arabia breathes from yonder box. 
The tortoise here and elephant unite, 
Transformed to combs, the speckled and the white. 
Here files of pins extend their shining rows, 
Puffs, Powders, Patches, Bibles, Billets-doux. 
Now awful Beauty puts on all its arms ; 
The fair each moment rises in her Charms 

Repairs her smiles, awakens ev'ry grace, 
And calls forth all the wonders of her face. 


The Rape of the Lock (1712) 


Yet, uncivil as Nature has been, they seem resolved to 
outdo her in unkindness ; they use white powder, blue 
powder, and black powder, for their hair, and a red 
powder for the face on some particular occasion. 

They like to have the face of various colours, as among 
the Tartars of Koreki, frequently sticking on, with spittle, 
little black patches on every part of it, except on the tip 
of the nose, which I have never seen with a patch. You'll 
have a better idea of their manner of placing these spots, 
when I have finished the map of an English face patched 
up to the fashion, which shall shortly be sent to increase 
your curious collection of paintings, medals, and monsters. 


Letters from a Citizen of the World to his Friends in 

the East (1762) 


Why do they adorn themselves with so many colours of 
hearbs, fictitious flowers, curious needleworks, quaint 
devices, sweet-smelling odours, with those inestimable 


riches of pretious stones, pearls, rubies, diamonds, 
emeralds, etc ? Why do they crown themselves with gold 
and silver, use coronets, and tires of several fashions, deck 
themselves with pendants, bracelets, ear-rings, chains, 
girdles, rings, pins, spangles, embroyderies, shadows, 
rabatoes, versicolor ribbands ? Why do they make such 
glorious shews with their scarfs, feathers, fans, masks, 
furs, laces, tiffanies, ruffs, falls, calls, cuffs, damasks, 
velvets, tinsels, cloth of gold, silver, tissue ? with colours 
of heaven, stars, planets ? the strength of metals, stones, 
odours, flowers, birds, beasts, fishes, and whatsoever 
Afrika, Asia, America, sea, land, art, and industry of 
man can afford ? Why do they use and covet such novelty 
of invention, such new-fangled tires, and spend such 
inestimable summs on them ? To what end are those 
crisped, false hairs, painted faces, as the Satyrist 
observes. . . . Why are they like so many Sybarites, or 
Neroes Poppaea, Assuerus concubines, so costly, so long a 
dressing as Caesar were marshalling his army, or an hawk 
in pruning ? . . . A Gardiner takes not so much delight and 
pains in his garden, an horse man to dress his horse, scour his 
armour, a Marriner about his ship, a merchant his shop 
and shop-book, as they do about their faces, and all 
those other parts : such setting up with corks, streighting 
with whale-bones ; why is it but as a day-net catcheth 
Larks, to make yong men stoop unto them ? 


Anatomy Of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 




Oh ! there is an organ playing in the street a waltz too I 
I must leave off to listen. They are playing a waltz which 
I have heard ten thousand times at the balls in London, 
between 1812 and 1815. Music is a strange thing. 

LORD BYRON, Diary (Feb. 2, 1821) 


The sister of St Damian appeared to him after her death, 
and said . . . " Once, standing in mine own chamber, I 
listened with a certain sweetness to the songs of them 
that danced in the streets, for which I did no penance 
during my earthly life ; wherefore I must now be punished 
for fifteen days in purgatory." 

JOANNES HEROLT, Promptuarium (c. 1500) 


After he [Bishop Corbet] was D. of Divinity, he sang bal- 
lads at the Crosse at Abingdon on a market-day. He and 


some of his camerades were at the taverne by the crosse. . . . 
The ballad singer complaynd, he had no custome, he 
could not putt-off his ballades. The jolly Doctor putts-off 
his gowne, and putts-on the ballad singer's leathern jacket, 
and being a handsome man, and had a rare full voice, he 
presently vended a great many, and had a great audience. 
JOHN AUBREY, Brief Lives : Richard Corbet (c. 1680) 


In Herefordshire, and parts of the marshes of Wales, the 
Tabor and Pipe were exceedingly common. Many beggars 
beg'd with it, and the peasants danced to it in the church- 
yard on holydays and holy day-eves. The Tabor is derived 
from the Sistrum of the Romans. 

Ibid. Remains of Gentilism and Judaism (1687) 



The King's Majesty's Declaration to his Subjects Concern- 
ing Lawful Sports to be used. 

Whereas We did justly in Our Progresse through 
Lancashire rebuke some Puritanes and Precise People, . . . 


in the prohibiting and unlawfull punishing of Our good 
people for using their lawfull recreations and honest 
exercises upon Sundays and other Holy-days, after the 
afternoone Sermon or Service ; We now finde, that two 
sortes of people wherewith that countrey is much infested 
(WemeanPapzsfc and Puritanes) have maliciously traduc'd 
and calumniated those Our just and honourable proceed- 
ings. . . . We have therefore thought good hereby to cleer 
and make Our Pleasure to be manifested to all Our good 
people in those partes. . . . 

We heard the generall complaynt of Our people, that 
they were barred from all lawfull recreation and exercise 
upon the Sundaye's afternoone, after the ending of all 
Divine Service. Which cannot but produce two evills. . . . 
This prohibition barreth the common and meaner sort of 
people from using such exercises as may make their body's 
more able for war, when We, or Our Successours shall 
have occasion to use them : and in place therof setts up 
filthie tipplings and drunkennesse, and breedes a number 
of idle and discontented speeches in their ale-houses. For 
when shall the common people have leave to exercise, if 
not upon the Sundayes and Holy-dayes, seeing they must 
apply their labour and win their living in all working- 
dayes ? . . . 

Our Pleasure is, ... That after the end of Divine Service, 
Our good People be not disturbed, letted, or discouraged 
from any lawfull recreation, such as Dancing (either men or 
women) Archery for men, Leaping, Vaulting, or any other 
such harmlesse recreations ; nor from having of May Games, 
Whitsun Ales, and Morris Dances, and the setting up of May 
Poles, and other sports therwith used : so as the same bee had 
in due and convenient time, without impediment or neglect of 
Divine Service. And, That women shall have leave to carry 


Rushes to the Church for the decoring of it, according to 
their olde custome. 

But whithal, We doe here account stil as prohibited^ all 
unlawfull games, to be us 9 d upon Sunday es onely ; as Beare 
and Bull Baitings; Interludes; and at all times, in the 
meaner sorte of people by Law prohibited, Bowling. 

And likewise. We bar from this benefit and libertie, all 
such knowne Recusants, either men or women, as will 
abstaine from comming to Church or Divine Service : 
beeing therfor unworthy of any lawfull recreation after 
the said Service, that wil not first come to the Church 
and serve GOD. 

Prohibiting in like sorte, the said recreation to any that, 
though conforme in Religion, are not present in the Church . . . 

Our Pleasure likewise is, That they to whom it belongeth 
in Office shall present and sharply punish all such, as in abuse 
of this Our liber tie, will use these Exercises before the ends of 
all Divine Services for that day. 

And We, likewise, straitly commaund, That every 
person shall resort to his owne Parish Church to heare 
Divine Service ; and each Parish, by it selfe, to use the said 
recreation after Divine Service, Prohibiting likewise, Any 
offensive weapons to be carryed or us'd in the said times of 




Dr Johnson enforced the strict observance of Sunday. 
" It should be different," (he observed,) " from another 


day. People may walk, but not throw stones at birds. 
There may be relaxation, but there should be no 
levity." . . . 

" Sunday/' (said he) " was a heavy day to me when I 
was a boy. My mother confined me on that day, and 
made me read The Whole Duty of Man." 


Life of Johnson (1791) 

I seldom frequent card-tables on Sunday. 

Rambler (1750-52) 


Sunday, October 20, 169-. Great jangling of Bells all 
over the City from eight to nine. Psalms murder'd in 
most Parishes at ten. Abundance of Doctrines and Uses in 
the Meetings and no Application. Vast consumption of 
Roast Beef and Pudding at one. Afternoon sleepy in most 
Churches. Score of Handkercheifs stolen in Paul's at 
three. Informers busy all day long. Night not so sober as 
might be wish'd. 

Sunday, Oct. 27. Taylors curs'd for not bringing the fine 
Cloathes home at the promis'd Hour. Great Ogling at 
Covent-Garden Church and other places, from ten to 
twelve. A She-Quaker holds forth in her Stays in Grace- 
Church- Street, to the great Cramping of the Spirit. 


Ministers preach against Sin, but the People still Practice 
it, and are like to do so to the end of the Chapter. 

Sunday, Nov. 3. Beggars take up their respective Posts in 
Lincoln-Inn Fields and other Places, by seven, that they 
may be able to praise God in Capon and March beer at 
Night. Parish-Clerks liquor their Throats plentifully at 
eight, and chaunt out Hopkins most melodiously about 
ten. Sextons, Men of great Authority most part of the Day, 
whip Dogs out of the Church for being Obstreperous. 
Great Thumping and Dusting of the Cushion at Suiter's 
Hall, about eleven ; one would almost think the Man was 
in Earnest, he lays so Furiously about him. A most Re- 
freshing Smell of Garlick at Spitalfields and Soho at 
twelve. Country-fellows staring at the two Wooden Men 
in St Dunstans from one to two, to see how Notably they 
Strike the Quarters. The great Point of Predestination 
settled in Russel-Court about three, and the People go 
home as Wise as they came thither. A merrie Farce, call'd 
the Confusion of Babel, acted at surly Wafs Coffee-House 
in the Evening, and lasts from five till ten. Great Squab- 
bling, Buzzing, and Prating, from the Baronefs Club, 
down to the noisy Footman below. Terrible Swearing in 
the Kitchen for the Boys not brining the vile Derby in 
time. Beef call'd for at every Table, and Mrs Cook most 
highly importun'd for a Carrot. 

Sunday, Nov. 17. Surgeons knock'd up by twelve Penny 
Customers at seven and hinder'd, as they say, from going 
to Church ; but ten to one whether they wou'd have gone 
thither, tho' no body had visited 'em. Dumplings far 
exceeding those of Norfolk, at the Half-Moon in Cheap- 
side, and the Rose by Temple-Bar at eleven. Citizens whet 
away their Stomachs, and judiciously censure the Sermon, 


in most Taverns about twelve ; in the Strength of Roast- 
Beef and the Sunday Bottle of Claret, give their Wives a 
Comfortable Refreshment on the Couch about two ; beget 
Block-heads to continue the City-Breed. A Magistrate 
with a Golden Chain about his Neck snores Inordinately 
in a Coventicle at three. Tradesmens Wives treat their 
Children in the Farthing Pye-Houses at four. Not one 
Physitian at Church, except the City-Bard, within the 
Bills of Mortality. 

Comical View of London and Westminster (169-) 


I am always very well pleased with a Country Sunday ; 
and think if keeping holy the Seventh Day were only a 
human Institution, it would be the best Method that 
could have been thought of for the polishing and civilizing 
of Mankind. It is certain the Country-People would soon 
degenerate into a kind of Savages and Barbarians, were 
there not such frequent Returns of a stated Time, in 
which the whole Village meet together with their best 
Faces, and in their cleanliest Habits, to converse with one 
another upon indifferent subjects, hear their Duties 
explained to them, and join together in Adoration of the 
Supreme Being. Sunday clears away the Rust of the whole 
Week, not only as it refreshes in their Minds the Notions 
of Religion, but as it puts both the Sexes upon appear- 
ing in their most agreeable Forms, and exerting all 
such Qualities as are apt to give them a Figure in the 
Eye of the Village. A Country-Fellow distinguishes 


himself as much in the Church-yard as a Citizen does 
upon the Change, the whole Parish-Politicks being 
generally discussed in that Place either after Sermon or 
before the Bell rings. 


Spectator (1711) 


Thou art a day of mirth : 
And where the week-dayes trail on ground, 
Thy flight is higher, as thy birth. 
O, let me take thee at the bound, 
Leaping with thee from sev'n to sev'n, 
Till that we both, being toss'd from earth, 

Flie hand in hand to heav'n ! 


Sunday. From The Temple (1633) 


Thank my dear Dr S. for his kind and seasonable admoni- 
tions on my last Sunday's engagement at Mrs Montagu's. 
Conscience had done its office before ; nay, was busy at 
the time : and if it did not dash my cup of pleasure to the 
ground, infused at least a tincture of wormwood into it. 
I did think of the alarming call, " What doest thou here, 
Elijah ? " . . . 

Perhaps you will say I ought to have thought of it 

again to-day, when I tell you I have dined abroad ; but 
it is a day I reflect on without those uneasy sensations one 
has when one is conscious it has been spent in trifling 
company. I have been at Mrs Boscawen's. Mrs Montagu, 
Mrs Carter, Mrs Chapone, and myself only were admitted. 
We spent the time, not as wits, but as reasonable creatures; 
better characters, I trow. The conversation was sprightly 
but serious. I have not enjoyed an afternoon so much 
since I have been in town. There was much sterling sense, 
and they are all ladies of high character for piety ; of 
which, however, I do not think their visiting on Sundays 
any proof : for though their conversation is edifying, the 
example is bad. 


Letter to her Sister (1775) 


Nov. yd, 1661. (Lord's day.) This day I stirred not out, but 
took physique, and it did work very well, and all the day 
as I was at leisure I did read in Fuller's Holy Warr, which 
I have of late bought, and did try to make a song in praise 
of a liberall genius (as I take my own to be) to all studies 
and pleasures, but it not proving to my mind I did reject 
it and so proceeded not in it. At night my wife and I 
had a good supper by ourselves of a pullet hashed, which 
pleased me much to see my condition come to allow our- 
selves a dish like that, and so at night to bed. 

April 14, 1667. (Lord's day.) Up, and to read a little in my 
new History of Turkey, and so with my wife to church, 

and then home, where is little Michell and my pretty Betty 
and also Mercer, and very merry. A good dinner of roast 
beef. After dinner I away to take water at the Tower, and 
thence to Westminster, where Mrs Martin was not at 
home. So to White Hall, and there walked up and down, 
and among other things visited Sir G. Carteret, and much 
talk with him From him to St Margaret's Church, and 
there spied Martin, and home with her . . . but fell out to 
see her expensefullness, having bought Turkey work, 
chairs, etc. By and by away home, and there took out my 
wife and the two Mercers and two of our maids, Barker 
and Jane, and over the water to Jamaica House, where I 
never was before, and there the girls did run for wagers 
over the bowling-green ; and there with much pleasure 
spent little, and so home, and they home, and I to read 
with satisfaction in my book of Turkey, and so to bed. 




PHILOPONUS : The Sabboth daie of some is well observed, 
namely, in hearing the blessed worde of God read, 
preached, and interpreted ; in private and publique 
praiers ; in singing of godly psalmes ; in celebrating the 
sacraments ; and in collecting for the poore and indigent, 
which are the true uses and endes whereto the Sabbaoth 
was ordained. But other some spend the Sabbaoth day 
(for the most parte) in frequenting of baudy stage plaies 
and enterludes ; in maintayning lordes of misrule (for so 
they call a certaine kinde of plaie which they use) in Maie 


games, church ales, feastes, and wakesses ; in pyping, 
dauncying, dicyng, carding, bowlyng, tenisse playing ; 
in bear baytyng, cocke fightyng, hawkyng, hunting, and 
suche like ; in keeping of fayres and markettes on the 
Sabbaoth ; in keepyng of courtes and leetes ; in foote ball 
playing, and such other devilish pastymes ; in readyng of 
lascivious and wanton bookes, and an infinite number of 
suche like practises and prophane exercises used upon that 
day, whereby the Lorde God is dishonoured, his Sabaoth 
violated, his word neglected, his sacramentes contemned, 
and his people mervailously corrupted, and caried away 
from true vertue and godlines. 

SPUDEUS : You will be deemed too too stoicall, if you should 
restraine menne from those exercises uppon the Sab- 
baoth, for they suppose that that day was ordained and 
consecrate to that ende and purpose, onely to use what 
kinde of exercises they thinke good themselves ; and was 
it not so ? 


The Anatomy of Abuses (1583) 


PHILOPONUS : Firste, all the wilde heades of the Parishe, 
conventyng together, chuse them a Ground Capitaine 
(of mischeef), whom they innoble with the title of my 
Lorde of Misserule, and hym they crown with great 
solemnitie, and adopt for their kyng. This kyng anoynted, 
chuseth for the twentie, fourtie, three score, or a hundred 
lustie guttes like to hymself to waite uppon his lordely 
majestic, and to guerde his noble persone. Then every 


one of these his menne he investeth with his liveries of 
greene, yellowe, or some other light wanton colour. 
And as though that were not (baudie) gaudy enough, I 
should saie, they bedecke themselves with scarffes, 
ribons, and laces, hanged all over with golden rynges, 
precious stones, and other jewelles ; this doen, they tye 
about either legge twentie or fourtie belles, with riche 
hande-kercheefes, in their handes, and somtymes laied 
a crosse over their shoulders and neckes, borrowed for the 
moste parte of their pretie mopsies and loovyng bessies, 
for bussyng them in the darcke. Thus all thinges sette in 
order, then have they their Hobbie horses, Dragons, and 
other antiques, together with their baudie pipers and 
thunderyng drommers, to strike up the Devilles Daunce 
withall ; then marche these heathen companie towardes the 
churche and churcheyarde, their pipers pipyng, their 
drommers thonderyng, their stumppes dauncyng, their 
belles iynglyng, their handkerchefes swyngyng about 
their heades like madmen, their Hobbie horses and other 
monsters skirmishyng amongest the throng ; and in this 
sorte they goe to the churche (though the minister bee 
at praier or preachyng), dauncyng and swingyng their 
handkercheefes over their heades, in the churche, like 
devilles incarnate, with suche a confused noise, that no 
man can heare his owne voice. Then the foolishe people 
they looke, they stare, they laugh, they fleere, and mount 
upon formes and pewes, to see these goodly pageauntes, 
solemnized in this sort. Then after this, aboute the 
churche they goe againe and againe, and so forthe into 
the churche-yarde, where they have commonly their 
Sommer halles, their bowers, arbours, and banquetyng 
houses set up, wherein they feaste, banquet, and daunce 
all that daie, and (perad venture) all that night too. And 


thus these terrestrial furies spend the Sabbaoth daie ! . . . 
SPUDEUS : This is a horrible prophanation of the Sabbaoth 
(the Lorde knoweth), and more pestilent then pestilence 

it self. 



The Puritan faction did begin to increase in those dayes 
and especially at Emmanuel College . . . They preached up 
very strict keeping and observing the Lord's day ; made, 
upon the matter, damnation to breake it, and that 'twas 
lesse sin to kill a man. . . . Yet these hypocrites did bowle 
in a private green at their colledge every Sunday after 


Brief Lives : Lancelot Andrewes 
(c. 1680) 


In the Village he liv'd in, not a Sermon was to be heard 
from Year to Year. And the Service was run over very 
Cursorily and Irreverently ; and when that was done, the 
rest of the Lord's Day was profanely spent by the whole 
Town in Dancing under a May-Pole, and a great Tree. 


Abridgement of Mr. Baxter's History of his Life and 

Times (1702) 


That Luxury and Excess men usually practise upon this 
Day . . . dividing the time between God and their Bellies, 
when, after a gluttonous meal, their senses dozed and 
stupefied, they retire to God's- House to sleep out the 


Sermon upon Sleeping in Church 



What is that Land, says he, the Waves embrace ? 
(And with his Finger pointed at the Place ;) 
Is it one parted Isle which stands alone ? 
How nam'd ? and yet methinks it seems not one. 
To whom the watry God made this Reply ; 
'Tis not one Isle, but five ; distinct they lie ; 
'Tis Distance which deceives the cheated Eye. 
But that Diana's Act may seem less strange, 
These once proud Naiads were, before their Change. 
'Twas on a Day more solemn than the rest. 
Ten Bullocks slain, a sacrificial Feast : 


The rural Gods of all the Region near 

They bid to dance, and taste the hallow'd Cheer. 

Me they forgot : Affronted with the Slight, 

My Rage, and Stream swell'd to the greatest Height ; 

And with the Torrent of my flooding Store, 

Large Woods from Woods, and Fields from Fields 

I tore. 

The guilty Nymphs, Oh ! them rememb'ring me, 
I, with their Country, wash'd into the Sea : 
And joining Waters with the social Main, 
Rent the gross Land, and spit the firm Champagne. 
Since, the Echinades, remote from Shore 
Are view'd as many Isles, as Nymphs before. 


Metamorphoses (c. 5 B.C.) 
Trans. Mr. Vernon (1717 ?) 



The Orenoqueponi bury not their wives with them, but 
their jewels, hoping to in joy them againe. 

The Discoverie of Guiana (1596) 
XP 673 


Here I met with Osborne and with Shaw and Spicer, and 
we went to the Sun Tavern in expectation of a dinner . . . 
at which we were very merry, while in came Mr. Wade 
and his friend Capt. Moyse . . . and here we staid till 
seven at night. ... I by having but 3d in my pocket made 
shift to spend no more, whereas if I had had more I had 
spent more as the rest did, so that I see it is an advantage 
to a man to carry little in his pocket. 


Diary (Feb. 17, 1660) 


This night making an end wholly of Christmas, with a 
mind full satisfied with the great pleasures we have had 
by being abroad from home, and I do find my mind so apt 
to run to its old want of pleasures, that it is high time to 
betake myself to my late vows, which I will to-morrow, 
God willing, perfect and bind myself to, that so I may, for 
a great while, do my duty, as I have well begun, and in- 
crease my good name and esteem in the world, and get 
money, which sweetens all things, and whereof I have 
much need. So home to supper and to bed, blessing God 
for his mercy to bring me home, after much pleasure, to 
my house and business with health and resolution to 
fall hard to work again. 


(Twelfth Day, 1663) 


The Athenians might fairly except against the practise of 
Democritus to be buried up in honey ; as fearing to 
embezzle a great commodity of their Countrey, and the 
best of that kinde in Europe. 


Hydrotaphia (1658) 


When hee returnes from his field, he asks, not without 
rage, what became of the loose crust in his cupboard, and 
who hath rioted among his leekes ? He never eats good 
meals, but on his neighbors trencher. . . . Once in a yeere 
perhaps, he gives himselfe leave to feast ; . . . and when his 
guests are parted, talkes how much every man devoured, 
and how many cups were emptied, and feeds his familie 
with the moldie remnants a moneth after. ... In his 
short and unquiet sleepes hee dreamcs of theeves, and 
runnes to the dore. 


Characters of Vertues and Vices (1608) 




For Peregrination charmes our senses with such unspeak- 
able and sweet variety, that some count him unhappy that 
never travelled, a kinde of prisoner, and pitty his case that 
from his cradle to his old age beholds the same still ; 
still, still, the same, the same : insomuch that Rhasis . . . 
doth not only commend but enjoyne travell, and such 
variety of objects, to a melancholy man, and to lie in 
diverse Innes, to bee drawne into sever all companies. . . . 

He that should be admitted on a sudden to the sight of 
such a Palace as that ofEscuriall in Spaine, or to that which 
the Moores built at Granada, Fontainebleau in France, the 
Turkes gardens in his Seraglio, wherein all manner of birds 
and beasts are kept for pleasure, Wolves, Beares, Lynces, 
Tigers, Lyons, Elephants, &c. . . . the Pope's Belvedere in 
Rome ... or that Indian King's delightsome garden in 
/Elian . . . could not choose . . . but be much recreated 
for the time. ... To take a boat in a pleasant evening, and 
with musicke to rowe upon the waters, which Plutarch 
so much applaudes, /Elian admires upon the river Peneus> 
in those Thessalian fields beset with greene Baycs, where 
Birds so sweetly sing that passengers, enchanted as it 


were with their heavenly musicke, . . . forget forthwith all 
labours, cares, and griefe : or in a Gundilo through the 
grand Canale in Venice^ to see those goodly Palaces, must 
needs refresh and give content to a melancholy dull spirit. 


The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 


Where the remote Bermudas ride 
In th' Oceans bosome unespy'd 
From a small Boat, that row'd along, 
The listning Winds receiv'd this Song. 

" What should we do but sing his Praise 
That led us through the watry Maze, 
Unto an Isle so long unknown, 
And yet far kinder than our own ? 
Where he the huge Sea-Monsters wracks, 
That lift the Deep upon their Backs. 
He lands us on a grassy Stage ; 
Safe from the Storms, and Prelat's rage. 
He gave us this eternal Spring, 
Which here enamells every thing ; 
And sends the Fowl's to us in care, 
On daily Visits through the Air. 
He hangs in shades the Orange bright, 
Like golden Lamps in a green Night. 
And does in the Pomegranates close, 
Jewels more rich than Ormus show's. 

6 77 

He makes the Figs our mouths to meet ; 
And throws the Melons at our feet. 
But Apples plants of such a price. 
No Tree could ever bear them twice. 
With Cedars, chosen by his hand. 
From Lebanon he stores the Land. 
And makes the hollow Seas, that roar, 
Proclaime the Ambergris on shoar. 
He cast (of which we rather boast) 
The Gospels Pearl upon our Coast. 
And in these Rocks for us did frame 
A Temple, where to sound his Name. 
O let our Voice his Praise exalt, 
Till it arrive at Heavens Vault : 
Which thence (perhaps) rebounding, may 
Eccho beyond the Mexique Bay" 

Thus sang they in the English boat, 
An holy and a chearfiil Note, 
And all the way, to guide their Chime, 
With falling Oars they kept the time. 


Bermudas (pub : 1681) 


Towards Venice we progrest, and tooke Roterdam in our 
waie, that was cleane out of our waie, there we met with 
aged learnings chiefe ornament, that abundant and super- 
ingenious clarke Erasmus, as also with merrie Sir Thomas 


Moore our Countriman, who was come purposely over 
a little before us, to visite the said grave father Erasmus : 
what talke, what conference wee had then, it were here 
superfluous to rehearse. . . . 

So we left them to prosecute their discontented studies, 
and make our next journey to Wittenberg. . . . 

To the Emperours court wee came, where our enter- 
tainment was every way plentiful, carouses we had in 
whole galons in sted of quart pots. Not a health was given 
us but contained well neere a hogshead. The customes of 
the countrie we were eager to bee instructed in, but 
nothing wee coulde learne but this, that ever at the Em- 
perours coronation there is an oxe roasted with a stag in 
the belly, and that stag in his belly hath a kid, and that kid 
is stufte full of birds. Some courtiers to wearie out time, 
would tell us further tales of Cornelius Agrippa> and howe 
when Sir Thomas Moore our countryman was there, he 
shewed him the whole destruction of Troy in a dreame. 
How the Lord Cromwell being the kings Embassador 
there, in like case in a perspective glasse hee set before 
his eyes king Henrie the eight, with all his Lordes on 
hunting in his forrest at Windsore. . . . 

Though the Emperours court, and the extraordianarie 
edifiing com panic of Cornelius Agrippa might have bin 
argumentes of waight to have arrested us a little longer 
there, yet Italy still stuck as a great moate in my masters 
eie, he thought he had travelled no further than Wales, 
till he had tooke survey of that countrie which was such 
a curious molder of wits. 

To cut off blind ambages by the high way side, we made 
a long stride and got to Venice in short time. 


The Unfortunate Traveller (1594) 


Travellers gain Rest, but by coining Home, 
Men at Home mope, till that Abroad they come ; 
Thus is Love of Variety, Man's curse, 
Which us to such a Love of Change does force. 


The World UnmasVd (1704) 


Mr Creed and I went in the fore part of a coach wherein 
were two very pretty ladies, very fashionable and with 
black patches, who very merrily sang all the way and that 
very well, and were very free to kiss the two blades that 
were with them. I took out my flageolette and piped. 


Diary (May 14, 1660) 


We were eight days in coming hither from Lyons ; the 
four last in crossing the Alps. Such uncouth rocks, and 
such uncomely inhabitants ! My dear West, I hope I shall 
never see them again ! At the foot of Mount Cenis we were 
obliged to quit our chaise, which was taken all to pieces 
and loaded on mules ; and we were carried in low arm- 
chairs on poles, swathed in beaver bonnets, beaver gloves, 


beaver stockings, muffs and bear-skins. When we came to 
the top, behold the snows fallen ! and such quantities, and 
conducted by such heavy clouds that hung glouting, that 
I thought we could have never have waded through them. 

The descent is two leagues, but steep and rough as O 's 

father's face, over which, you know, the devil walked with 
hobnails in his shoes. But the dexterity and nimbleness of 
the mountaineers are inconceivable : they run with you 
down steeps and frozen precipices, where no man, as men 
are now, could possibly walk. We had twelve men and nine 
mules to carry us, our servants and baggages, and were 
above five hours in this agreeable jaunt ! 


Letter to Richard West from Turin (1739) 


We lay at Canes, which is a small port on the Mediter- 
ranean ; here we agreed with a seaman to carry us to 
Genoa, and . . . embarqed on the I2th. . . . We coasted 
within two leagues of Antibes, which is the utmost towne 
in France. Thence by Nice, a citty in Savoy, built all of 
brick, which gives it a very pleasant appearance towards 
the sea ... 

We sailed by Mentone and Ventimiglia, being the first 
citty of the Republiq of Genoa ; supped at Oneglia, where 
we anker'd and lay on ashore. The next morning we 
coasted in view of the Isle of Corsica, and St Remo, where 
the shore is furnished with evergreens, oranges, citrons, 
and date-trees . . . The next morning by Diano, Araisso, 
famous for the best corall fishing, growing in aboundance 

68 1 

on the rocks, deep and continually covered by sea. By Al- 
bengo and Finale, a very faire and strong towne, belonging 
to the King of Spayne, for which reason a monsieur in 
our vessell was extreamely afraide, as was the patron of 
our barke, for they frequently catch French prizes as they 
creepe by these shores to go into Italy ; he therefore ply'd 
both sayles and oars, to get under the protection of a 
Genoese gaily that pass'd not far before us, in whose 
company we sayPd as far as the Cape of Savona, a towne 
built at the rise of the Appenines : for all this coast (except 
a little of St Remo) is a high and steepe mountainous 
grounde, consisting all of rock-marble, without any grasse, 
tree, or rivage, formidable to look on ... The rock con- 
sist of all sorts of the most precious marbles. 

Here, on the I5th, forsaking our gaily, we encountered 
a little foule weather, which made us creepe terra, terra, 
as they call it ... but our patron, striving to double the 
point of Savona, making out into the wind put us into 
greate hazard ; for blowing very hard from land betwixt 
those horrid gapps of the mountaines, it set so violently, 
as rais'd on the suddaine so great a sea that we could not 
recover the weather shore for many houres, insomuch 
that, what with the water already enter'd, and the confu- 
sion of fearful passengers (of which one who was an Irish 
bishop, and his brother, a priest, were confessing some as 
at the article of death) we were almost abandoned to 
despaire, our pilot himselfe giving us up for lost. And 
now, as we were weary with pumping and laving out the 
water, almost sinking, it plcas'd God on the suddaine to 
appease the wind, and with much ado and greate perill 
we recovered the shore, which we now kept in view. 


Diary (October 1644) 


Jan. 29, 1645. . . . The Via Appia is here a noble pros- 
pect ; having before consider'd how it was carried through 
vast mountaines of rocks for many miles, by most stupen- 
dious labor : here it is infinitely pleasant, beset with 
sepulchres and antiquities, full of sweete shrubbs in the 
invironing hedges. At Fondi, we had oranges and citrons 
for nothing, the trees growing in every corner, charged 
with fruite. 

We descried Mount Caeculus, famous for the generous 
wine it heretofore produc'd, and so rid onward the Appian 
Way, beset with myrtils, lentiscus, bayes, pomegranads, 
and whole groves of orange-trees, and most delicious 
shrubbs, till we came to Formiana, where they shewed us 
Cicero's Tomb, standing in an olive grove; for here that 
incomparable orator was murther'd. I shall never forget 
how exceedingly I was delighted with the sweetnesse of 
this passage, the sepulchre mixed with all sorts of ver- 
dure ; besides being now come within sight of the noble 
citty, Cajeta, which gives a surprizing prospect along the 
Tyrrhen Sea, in manner of a theatre. . . . 

Feb. 8. Now we enter 'd the haven of the Baiae, where 
once stood that famous towne, so called from the com- 
panion of Ulysses here buried ; not without greate reason 
celebrated for one of the most delicious places that the 
sunn shines on, according to that of Horace : 

Nullus in Orbe locus Baiis praelucet amoenis. 

Though, as to the stately fabrics, there now remaine 
little save the ruines, whereof the most entire is that of 
Diana's Temple, and another of Venus. Here were those 


famous pooles of lampreys that would come to hand 
when called by name, as Martial tells us. On the sum'ite of 
the rock stands a strong castle garrisoned to protect the 
shore from Turkish pyrates. ... It was once the 
retiring place of Julius Ceasar. . . . 

Returning toward the Baiae, we again pass the Elyssian 
Fields, so celebrated by the poetes, nor unworthily, for 
their situation and verdure, being full of myrtils and 
sweete shrubbs, and having a most delightful prospect 
toward the Tyrrhen Sea. . . . 

Having well satisfied our curiosity among these 
antiquities, we retired to our felucca, which rowed us back 
againe towards Pozzolo, at the very place of St Paule's 
landing. Keeping along the shore, they shewed us a place 
where the sea water and sands did exceedingly boyle. 
Thence, to the island Nesis, once the fabulous Nymph ; 
and thus we leave the Baiae, so renowned for the sweete 
retirements of the most opulent and voluptuous Romans. 
They certainly were places of uncommon amoenitie, as 
their yet tempting site, and other circumstances of natural 
curiosities, easily invite me to believe, since there is not 
in the world so many stupendious rarities to be met with, 
as in the circle of a few miles which environ these blissfull 



LUCIA : What will this come to ? What can it end in ? 
You have persuaded me to leave dear England, and dearer 
London^ the place of the World most worth living in, to 


follow you a Husband-hunting into America : I thought 
Husbands grew in these Plantations. 
CHARLOTTE : Why, so they do, as thick as Oranges, 
ripening one under another. Week after week they drop 
into some Woman's mouth : 'Tis but a little patience, 
spreading your Apron in expectation, and one of 'em 
will fall into your Lap at last. 
LUCIA : Ay, so you say indeed. 


Oroonoko (1696) 


You must allow him the Priviledge of a Travelleur, and he 
dos not abuse it, his lyes are as pleasant harmlesse on's as 
lyes can bee, and in noe great number considering the 
scope hee has for them ; there is one in Dublin now that 
ne're saw much further, has tolde mee twice as many 
(I dare swear) of Ireland. 


Letter to Sir William Temple (1654) 


On the banks of these rivers were divers sorts of fruits 
good to eate, flowers and trees of that varietie as were 
sufficient to make ten volumes of herbals, we releeved our 
selves manie times with the fruits of the countrey, and 


sometimes with foule and fish: we sawe birds of all 
colours, some carnation, some crimson, orange tawny, 
purple, greene, watched, and of all other sorts both 
simple and mixt, as it was unto us a great good passing 
of the time to beholde them, besides the reliefe we found 
by killing some store of them with our fouling pieces. 


The Discoverie of Guiana (1596) 


The coache was gone before I came . . . But being sett on 
my journy I hired a whole Coache to my selfe which cost 
me 4, but it was the best bestowed money . . . that ever I 
layd out, for the ayre being cool and fresh, and the coach 
to be opened before as well as on the sydes, I quaff' d 
off whole coachfulls of fresh ayr, without the pollution or 
the interruption of the (?) of any person. This had been 
an exceeding pleasant journy had not the remembrance 
of the misfortunes of some near relations of mine inter- 
mixt my wine with wormwood. But however I have most 
firmly concluded againe to my self in this ayry journy two 
of the main Theories of my Enchiridium Metaphysicum. 


Letter to Lady Conway (1671) 



.... The testimonies you give, and which I well recollect, 
of the juvenile huntings of the great Prince of Tuscany, 
and the slaughter he used to make of game in tapestry. . . . 
It was Ferdinand who, on going out of the drawingroom, 
always made an effort, or at least motion with his leg, 
that indicated a temptation to mount a horse in tapestry 
that hung near the door. It may, indeed, be a disorder in 
the family, and it may run in the blood to have an itch 
after tapestry animals. I am sure I wish I had a rage for 
riding and shooting my furniture, by a genealogic dis- 
order, instead of the gout. HORACE WALPOLE 
Letter to Sir Horace Mann (1770) 



I have heard him assert, that a tavern-chair was the throne 
of human felicity. " As soon," said he, " as I enter 
the door of a tavern, I experience an oblivion of care, and 


a freedom from solicitude : when I am seated, I find the 
master courteous, and the servants obsequious to my call ; 
anxious to know and ready to supply my wants : wine there 
exhilarates my spirits, and prompts me to free conversa- 
tion and an interchange of discourse ... I dogmatize and 
am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and 
sentiments I find delight." 


Life of Johnson (1787) 


Would to God I could laugh with you for one hour or two 
at all the ridiculous things that have happen'd at Wills 
Coffee-House since I left it. 'Tis the merriest place in the 
World. Like Africa, every day it produces a Monster. 


Letter to William Congreve (1695) 


Some mens whole delight is to take Tobacco, and drinke 
day long in a Taverne or Ale-house, to discourse, sing, all 
jest, roare, talk of a Cock and a Bull over a pot &c. 


The Anatomy of Melancholy 
(1621. Edition 1632) 


At Danby Wisk, in the north riding of Yorkshire, it is the 
custom for the parishioners, after receiving the Sacrament, 
to goe from church directly to the ale-house, and there 
drink together, as a testimony of charity and friendship. 


Remains of Gentilism and Judaism 




But what ? A Sot cannot help his Vanity. Agreed : But 
then it makes him so much happier than he deserves to be 
that he may well be contented to pay for it. 


Letter to Walter Moyle 
(pub. 1696) 





Vertue could see to do what vertue would 

By her own radiant light, though Sun and Moon 

Were in the flat Sea sunk. . . . 

'Tis chastity, my brother, chastity : 

She that has that, is clad in compleat steel, 

And like a quiver'd Nymph with Arrows keen 

May trace huge Forrests, and unharbour'd Heaths, 

Infamous Hills, and sandy perilous wildes, . . . 

Som say no evil thing that walks by night 

In fog, or fire, by lake, or moorish fen, .... 

Hath hurtfull power o're true Virginity. . . . 

Hence had the huntress Dian her dred bow 

Fair silver-shafted Queen for ever chaste, 

Wherewith she tam'd the brindled lioness 

And spotted mountain pard, . . . 

So dear to Heav'n is Saintly chastity, 

That when a soul is found sincerely so, 

A thousand liveried Angels lacky her, 

Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt. 

And in cleer dream, and solemn vision 

Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear. 

JOHN MILTON, ComUS (1634) 



Mortals that would follow me, 
Love vertue, she alone free. 
She can teach ye how to clime 
Higher then the Spheary chime ; 
Or if Vertue feeble were, 
Heav'n it self would stoop to her. 



I only feel persecution bitterly because I bitterly lament 
the depravity and mistake of those who persecute. 


Letter to Lord Byron (1817) 


It is a principle with me never to give others to under- 
stand any thing against an acquaintance, not only which 
I would not give, but which I have not given himself to 
understand ; a principle to which this book will have 
furnished no exception. It may be judged by this, how 
little I have been in the habit of speaking against any 
body, and what a nuisance it is to me to do it now. 


Lord Byron and some of his Contemporaries 



All nobilitie 

(But pride, that schisme of incivilitie) 
She had, and it became her ! she was fit 
T'have knowne no envy, but by suffring it ! 
She had a mind as calme, as she was faire ; 
Not tost or troubled with light Lady-aire : 
But kept an even gate, as some streight tree 
Mov'd by the wind, so comely moved she. 
And by the awfull manage of her Eye 
She swaied all bus'nesse in the Familie. 
To one she said, Doe this, he did it ; So 
To another, Move : he went ; to a third, Go, 
He run, and all did strive with diligence 
T'obey, and serve her sweet Commandements. 
She was in one, a many parts of life ; 
A tender Mother, a discreeter Wife, 
A solemne Mistresse, and so good a Friend, 
So charitable, to religious end 
In all her petite actions, so devote 
As her whole life was now become one note 
Of Pietie, and private holinesse. 


Eupheme, or the Faire Fame of that truly-noble Lady, 
the Lady Venetia Digby (1633 ?) 


Thence I home ; but Lord ! how it went against my heart 
to go away from the very door of the Duke's play-house, 


and my Lady Castlemayne's coach, and many great 
coaches there, to see " The Siege of Rhodes." I was 
very near making a forfeit, but I did command myself, 
and so home to my office, and there did much business 
to my good content, much better than going to a play, and 
then home to my wife, who is not well with her cold, and 
sat and read a piece of Grand Cyrus in English by her, 
and then to my chamber and to supper, and so to bed. 


Diary (May 2ist, 1667) 


And now his life was a Shining light among his old 
friends : now he gave an ocular testimony of the strictness 
and regularity of it ; 

Nor did he preach onely, but as S. Paul advised his 
Corinthians to be followers of him as he was of Christ ; 
so he also was an ocular direction to them by a holy and 
harmlesse conversation. 

Their love to him was expresst many wayes ; for 
(besides the faire lodgings that were provided and 
furnisht for him) other curtesies were daily accumulated, 
so many, and so freely, as though they meant their 
gratitude (if possible) should exceed, or at least equall his 
merits. In this love-strife of desert and liberality, they 
continued for the space of three yeares ; he constantly and 
faithfully preaching, they liberally requiting him. 


The Life and Death of Dr. Donne 
(1640 and 1670 editions) 



O, I don't repent my heavy-weight guest ! For it went very 
pleasantly. But when he arrived at Philippus's on the 
second evening of the Saturnalia, the villa was so full of 
soldiers that there was scarcely a dining-room empty for 
Cassar himself to sup in : two thousand men, forsooth ! . . . 
On the third day of the Saturnalia he stayed with Philippus 
till one o'clock, and admitted no one ; doing accounts, I 
think, with Balbus. Then he walked on the shore. After 
two, the bath. He was annointed, and took his place at the 
table. He was taking emetics, so he ate and drank freely and 
boldly, and the dinner was not only very splendid and 
sumptuous, but 

" well cooked, 
And seasoned with good talk, indeed, quite gay." 

Further, his attendants were entertained very lavishly in 
three diningrooms. The freedmen of lower grade and the 
slaves lacked nothing. But the upper ranks were enter- 
tained most elegantly. In short, we were seen to be men 
of the world. But he is not a guest to whom one would 
say, " Please come again on your way back." Once is 


enough. We had no serious conversation, but much 
literary. In short, he was pleased and had a good time. 
He said he should spend a day at Puteoli and another at 

Now you have the tale of my hospitality, or billeting, I 
might call it ; troublesome, but not annoying. 

Letter to Atticus (B.C. 45) 


Prudent Telemachus began to address them : Suitors of 
my mother, you insolent bullies, let us please ourselves now 
with feasting. . . . But in the morning let us all go down 
and sit in assembly, that I may firmly tell you this, that 
you are to go out of this house, and busy yourselves with 
other feasts, devouring your own substance, and taking 
turns at one another's houses. But if it seems to you more 
appropriate to consume without redress the goods of one 
man, then waste on ; but I will call upon the eternal gods, 
and if Zeus grants that deeds be punished, then you shall 
perish in this house unavenged. 

Odyssey. Book I 


I have passed the most delightful time in the most 
beautiful country in the company of Tonantius Ferreolus 


and Apollinaris, the most charming hosts in the world. 
Their estates march together, the houses are not far 
apart . . . The hills above the houses are under vines and 
olives . . . Every morning began with a flattering rivalry 
between the two hosts, as to which of their kitchens should 
first smoke for the refreshment of their guest . . . From the 
first moment we were hurried from one pleasure to 
another. Hardly had we entered the vestibule of either 
house, when we saw two opposed pair of partners in the 
ball-game. ... In another place one heard the rattle of 
dice boxes ... in yet another were books. . . . They were 
so arranged that the devotional works were near the 
ladies' seats ; where the master sat were those ennobled 
by the great style of Roman eloquence. . . . The dinner was 
short, but abundant. . . . Amusing and instructive anec- 
dotes accompanied our potations ; wit went with the one 
sort, and learning with the other. To be brief, we were 
entertained with decorum, refinement and good cheer. . . . 
The siesta over, we took a short ride to sharpen our jaded 
appetites for supper. ... I could tell you of suppers fit 
for a king : it is not my sense of shame, but simply want 
of space, which sets a limit to my revelations. 


Letter to Donidius (461-7) 
Trans. T. Hodgkin (1892) 


Why, if any of my friends come to see me, I entertain 
them with a good table and a bottle of good champaign ; 
and for their diversion I show them some sport. We have 


allwayes some thing or other in season in the field, either 
hunting or shooting, or setting or fishing. We never want 
game of one sort or another, and if they are men of books 
and talk learnedly, that's out of my way, and I say to 
'em, " Come let's go visit the vicar," so away we go to 
the parsonage, and the Doctor has a good library, and, 
what is better than all his books, keeps a cup of good 
liquor, as he calls it, for second-rate drinking. 


The Compleat Gentleman (1729) 


To sup with thee thou didst me home invite ; 
And mad'st a promise that mine appetite 
Sho'd meet and tire, on such lautitious meat 
The like not Heliogabalus did eat : 
And richer Wine wo'dst give to me (thy guest) 
Than Roman Sylla powr'd out at his feast. 
I came ; ('tis true) and look't for Fowle of price, 
The bastard Phenix ; bird of Paradice ; 
And for no less than Aromatick Wine 
Of Maydens-blush, commixt with Jessamine. 
Cleane was the berth, the mantle larded jet ; 
Which wanting Lar, and smoke, hung weeping wet ; 
At last, i' th' noone of winter, did appeare 
A ragd-soust-neats-foot with sick vineger : 
And in a burnisht Flagonet stood by 
Heere small as Comfort, dead as Charity. 
At which amaz'd, and pond'ring on the food, 
How cold it was, and how it child my blood, 

I curst the master ; and I damn'd the souce ; 
And swore I'de got the ague of the house. 
Well, when to eat thou dost me next desire, 
Fie bring a Fever, since thou keep'st no fire. 


The Invitation (1648) 


We went to every house in the place, and found each a scene 
of the greatest ignorance and vice. We saw but one Bible in 
all the parish, and that was used to prop a flower-pot ! 


Letter to Mr Wilberforce (1791) 


George Hotel, Cheddar. 

I was told we should meet with great opposition if I did 
not try to propitiate the chief despot of the Village, who is 
very rich, and very brutal ; so I ventured into the den of 
this monster, in a country as savage as himself, near 
Bridgewater. He begged I would not think of bringing any 
religion into the country ; it was the worst thing in the 
world for the poor, for it made them lazy and useless. In 
vain did I represent to him that they would be more 
industrious as they were better principled. ... I made 
eleven more of these agreeable visits ; and, as I improved 


in the art of canvassing, had better success. Miss Wilber- 
force would have been shocked, had she seen the petty 
tyrants whose insolence I stroked and taijied, the ugly 
children I fondled, the pointers I stroked and caressed, the 
cyder I commended, and the wine I swallowed. . . . Patty, 
who is with me, says she has good hopes that the hearts 
of some of these rich poor wretches may be touched ; 
they are at present as ignorant as the beasts that perish, 
intoxicated every day before dinner, and plunged in such 
vices as make me begin to think London a virtuous place. 

Ibid. (1789) 


Now and then a visit to Penfillan or some where has afforded 
a little variety to my existence. The week before last I 
spent with my Uncle George at Boreland ; and such a 
week ! There was no amusement within doors, and the 
weather precluded the possibility of finding any without. 
The only book in the house (Coelebs in Search of a Wife) 
was monopolized by a young lady who, I strongly sus- 
pect, had come there upon Coelebs's errand ; and the rest 
of us had no sort of weapon whatever to combat time with. 
For four whole days I had nothing for it but to count the 
drops of rain that fell from the ceiling into a basin beneath; 
or to make a " burble " of my watchchain, for the satis- 
faction of undoing it. Oh Plato, Plato ! what tasks ! At 
length in a phrensy of ennui I mounted a brute of a horse 
that could do nothing but trot, and rode thirty-two miles 
just for diversion. I left the good people at Boreland 
wondering, when it would be fair ? they had wondered for 


four days, and when I came back they were still wonder- 
ing. How few people retain their faculties in rainy weather ! 


Letter to Miss Stodart (1822) 


The preparing and the going abroad in such weather . . . 
were evils, were disagreeables at least, which Mr John 
Knightley did not by any means like : he anticipated 
nothing in the visit that could be at all worth the purchase ; 
and the whole of their drive to the vicarage was spent by 
him in expressing his discontent. 

" A man," said he, " must have a very good opinion of 
himself when he asks people to leave their own fire-side, 
and encounter such a day as this, for the sake of coming to 
see him. He must think himself a most agreeable fellow ; 
I could not do such a thing. It is the greatest absurdity 
actually snowing at this moment ! The folly of not allow- 
ing people to be comfortable at home and the folly of 
people's not staying comfortably at home when they can ! 
If we were obliged to go out on such an evening as this, 
by any call of duty or business, what a hardship we should 
deem it ; and here are we, probably with rather thinner 
clothing than usual, setting forth voluntarily, without 
excuse, in defiance of the voice of nature, which tells man, 
in every thing given to his view or his feelings, to stay 
at home himself, and keep all under shelter that he can ; 
here are we setting forward to spend five dull hours in 
another man's house, with nothing to say or to hear that 


was not heard or said yesterday, and may not be said or 
heard again to-morrow. Going in dismal weather, to 
return probably in worse ; four horses and four servants 
taken out for nothing but to convey five idle, shivering 
creatures into colder rooms and worse company than they 
might have had at home." ..." Christmas weather/' 
observed Mr Elton. " Quite seasonable : and extremely 
fortunate we may think ourselves that it did not begin 
yesterday, and prevent this day's party. . . . This is quite 
the season, indeed, for friendly meetings. At Christmas 
every body invites their friends about them, and people 
think little of even the worst weather. I was snowed up at 
a friend's house once for a week. Nothing could be 
pleasanter. I went only for one night, and could not get 
away till that very day se'nnight." 

Mr John Knightley looked as if he did not comprehend 
the pleasure, but said only, coolly, " I cannot wish to be 
snowed up a week at Randalls." 


Emma (1816) 


Haste hither Eve y and worth thy sight behold 
Eastward among those Trees, what glorious shape 
Comes this way moving ; seems another Morn 
Ris'n on mid-noon ; som great behest from Heav'n 
To us perhaps he brings, and will voutsafe 
This day to be our Guest. But goe with speed, 
And what thy stores contain, bring forth and poure 
Abundance, fit to honour and receive 

Our Heav'nly stranger ; . . . 
To whom thus Eve. Adam, earths hallo wd mould, 
Of God inspir'd, small store will serve, where store. 
All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk ; . . . 

So saying, with dispatchful looks in haste 
She {urns, on hospitable thoughts intent 
What choice to chuse for delicacie best. 
What order, so contriv'd as not to mix 
Tastes, not well joynd, inelegant, but bring 
Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change. 
Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk 
Whatever Earth all-bearing Mother yeilds 
In India East or West, or middle shoare 
In Pontus or the Punic Coast, or where 
Alcinous reign'd, fruit of all kindes, in coate, 
Rough, or smooth rin'd, or bearded husk, or shell 
She gathers, Tribute large, and on the board 
Heaps with unsparing hand ; for drink the Grape 
She crushes, inoffensive moust, and meathes 
From many a berrie, and from sweet kernels prest 
She tempers dulcet creams, nor these to hold 
Wants her fit vessels pure, then strews the ground 
With Rose and Odours from the shrub unfum'd. 
Mean while our Primitive great Sire, to meet 
His god-like Guest, walks forth, without more train 
Accompani'd then with his own compleat 
Perfections in himself was all his state. 


Paradise Lost, Book V (1667) 




He left a vast estate to his son. Sir Francis (I thinke ten 
thousand pounds per annum) ; he lived like a hog, but his 
son John was a great waster, and dyed in his father's time. 
He was the greatest howse-keeper in England ; would 
have at Littlecote 4 or 5 or more lords at a time. His wife 
(Harvey) was worth to him, I thinke, 60000 li., and she 
was as vaine as he, and she sayd that she had brought such 
an estate, and she scorned but she would live as high as 
he did ; and in her husband's absence would have all the 
women of the countrey thither, and feast them, and make 
them drunke, as she would be herselfe. They both dyed 
by excesse ; and by luxury and cosonage by their servants, 
when he dyed, there was, I thinke, a hundred thousand 
pound debt. 

Old Sir Francis, he lived like a hog, at Hownstret in 
Somerset. ... I remember this epitaph was made on 
Mr John Popham : 

Here lies he who not long since 

Kept a table like a prince, 

Till Death came, and tooke away. 

Then ask't the old man, What's to pay ? 

JOHN AUBREY, Brief Lives : Sir John Popham (c. 1680) 


He ranges beyond his pale, and lives without compasse. 
His expense is measured not by abilitie, but will. His 
pleasures are immoderate, and not honest. . . . The vulgar 
sort call him bountiful, and applaud him while he spends. 
. . . While he is present, none of the wealthier guests 
may pay ought to the shot, without much vehemencie, 
without danger of unkindnesse. Use hath made it un- 
pleasant to him, not to spend. . . . When he looks into 
the wealthie chest of his father, his conceit suggests, that 
it cannot be emptied ; and while hee takes out some deale 
every day, hee perceives not any diminution ; and when 
the heape is sensibly abated, yet still flatters himselfe with 
enough. ... He doth not so much bestow benefits as 
scatter them. . . . Hee hath so dilated himselfe with the 
beamses of prosperitie, that he lies open to all dangers. 


Characters of Vertues and Vices (1608) 


The Streets seem'd paved with golden Stones, . 

Rich Diamonds, and Pearl, and Gold 

Alight evry where be seen ; 
Rare Colors, yellow, blew, red, white, and green 

Mine Eys on every side behold : 
All that I saw, a Wonder did appear, 

Amazement was my Bliss : 
That and my Wealth met evry where. 
No Joy to this I 

For Property its self was mine, 
And Hedges, Ornaments : 
Walls, Houses, Coffers, and their rich Contents, 

To make me Rich combine. 
Cloaths, costly Jewels, Laces, I esteem'd 

My Wealth by others worn, 
For me they all to wear them seem'd, 

When I was born. THOMAS TRAHERNE 

Wonder : Poems of Felicity (? 1656-66) 


And the Kyng made sylver and goulde at Jerusalem as 
plenteous as stones and Cedar trees as plenty as the mul- 
berry trees that growe in valeyes. Chronicles ii 
Trans, by William Tyndale. Matthew's Bible (1537) 


Enter Barabas in his Counting-House, with heapes of gold 
before him 

JEW : 

. . . Fye ; what a trouble 'tis to count this trash. 

Well fare the Arabians, who so richly pay 

The things they traffique for with wedge of gold, 

Whereof a man may easily in a day 

Tell that which may maintaine him all his life. . . . 

Give me the Merchants of the Indian Mynes, 

YP 705 

That trade in mettall of the purest mould ; 

The wealthy Moore., that in the Easterne rockes 

Without controule can picke his riches up. 

And in his house heape pearle like pibble-stones ; 

Receive them free, and sell them by the weight, 

Bags of fiery Opals,, Saphires, Amatists, 

Jaunts, hard Topas, grasse-greene Emeraulds, 

Beauteous Rubyes, sparkling Diamonds. . . . 

This is the ware wherein consists my wealth : 

And thus me thinkes should men of judgement frame 

Their meanes of traffique from the vulgar trade, 

And as their wealth increaseth, so inclose 

Infinite riches in a little roome. . . . 

But who comes heare ? How now. 

Enter a Merchant 

Barabas, thy ships are safe, 

Riding in Malta Rhode : And all the Merchants 

With other Merchandize are safe arriv'd. . . . 

Enter a second Merchant 

2 MERCH. : 

Thine Argosie from Alexandria, 

Know Barabas, doth ride in Malta Rhode, 

Laden with riches, and exceeding store 

Of Persian silkes, of gold, and Orient Perle. . . . 

JEW : 
Well, goe 

Thus trowles our fortune in by land and sea 
And thus are wee on every side inrich'd : 


The Jew of Malta (1590) 


HANDY JUN. : I suppose she has found out the use of 

SIR ABEL : Yes ; I'll do her the justice to say she encour- 
ages trade. Why, do you know, Bob, my best coal-pit 
won't find her in white muslins round her neck hangs a 
hundred acres at least ; my noblest oaks have made wigs 
for her ; my fat oxen have dwindled into Dutch pugs and 
white mice ; my India bonds are transmitted into shawls 
and otto of roses ; and a magnificent mansion has shrunk 
into a diamond snuff-box. 

Speed the Plough (1800) 



Amongst so many crownes of burnisht gold, 
Choose which thou wilt, all are at thy command, 
A thousand Gallies mann'd with Christian slaves 
I freely give thee, which shall cut the straights, 
And bring Armados from the coasts of Spaine, 
Fraughted with golde of rich America : 
The Grecian virgins shall attend on thee, 
Skilful in musicke and in amorous laies : 
As faire as was Pygmalions Ivory gyrle, 
Or lovely lo metamorposed. 
With naked Negros shall thy coach be drawen, 
And as thou rid'st in triumph through the streets, 
The pavement underneath they chariot wheels 

With Turky Carpets shall be covered : 
And cloath of Arras hung about the walles, 
Fit objects for thy princely eie to pierce. 
A hundred Bassoes cloath'd in crimson silk 
Shall ride before thee on Barbarian Steeds : 
And when thou goest, a golden Canapie 
Enchac'd with pretious stones, . . . 
And more than this, for all I cannot tell. 


Tambiirlaine the Create (1588) 


I thought good to insert part of the 120 chapter of Lopez 
in his generall historic of the Indies, wherein he describeth 
the court and magnificence of Guaynacapa, auncestor to the 
Emperour of Guiana, whose very words are these. . . . 
That is, All the vessels of his home, table, and kitchin were 
of gold and silver, and the meanest of silver and copper for 
strength and hardnes of the mettal. He had in his ward- 
roppe hollow statues of gold which seemed giants, and the 
figures in proportion and bignes of all the beastes, birdes, 
trees, and hearbes, that the earth bringeth forth : and of 
all the fishes that the sea or waters of his kingdome 
breedeth. Hee had also ropes, budgets, chestes and troughs 
of golde and silver, heapes of billets of golde that seemed 
woode, marked out to burne. Finally there was nothing in 
his countrey, whereof hee had not the counterfeat in gold : 
Yea, and they say, The Ingas had a garden of pleasure in 
an iland neere Puna, where they went to recreate them- 
selves, when they would take the ayre of the sea, which 


had all kind of garden hearbes, flowers and trees of Gold 
and Silver, an invention and magnificence, til then never 
scene : Besides all this, he had an infinite quantitie of 
silver and gold unwrought in Cuzco. 


The Discoverie of Guiana (1596) 


Riches are for Spending. FRANCIS BACON 

Essayes : Of Expence (1597) 


Moralists and Church Fathers have named it the root of all 
Evil, the begetter of hate and bloodshed, the sure cause of 
the soul's damnation. It has been called " trash," " muck," 
" dunghill excrement," by grave authors. The love of it 
is denounced in all Sacred Writings ; we find it repre- 
hended on Chaldean bricks, and in the earliest papyri. 
Buddha, Confucius, Christ, set their faces against it; and 
they have been followed in more modern times by 
beneficed Clergymen, Sunday School Teachers, and the 
leaders of the Higher Thought. But have the condemna- 
tions of all the ages done anything to tarnish that bright 
lustre ? Men dig for it ever deeper into the earth's intes- 
tines, travel in search of it farther and farther to arctic 
and unpleasant regions. 

In spite of all my moral reading, I must confess that I 
like to have some of this gaudy substance in my pocket. 


Its presence cheers and comforts me, diffuses a genial 
warmth through my body. My eyes rejoice in the shine of 
it ; its clinquant sound is music in my ears. Since I then 
am in his paid service, and reject none of the doles of his 
bounty, I too dwell in the House of Mammon. I bow 
before the Idol and taste the unhallowed ecstasy. 

How many Altars have been overthrown, and how many 
Theologies and heavenly Dreams have had their bottoms 
knocked out of them, while He has sat there, a great God, 
golden and adorned, and secure on his unmoved throne ? 


Trivia (1918) 


He left an estate of eleaven thousand pounds per annum. 
Sir John Danvers, who knew him, told me that when one 
told him his sonnes would spend the state faster then he 
gott it, he replyed, " they cannot take more delight in 
spending of it then I did in the getting of it." 


Brief Lives : Sir Edward Coke (c. 1680) 


PHILLIS : Alas ! Alas ! it is a sad thing to walk. Oh For- 
tune ! Fortune ! 

TOM : What ! a sad thing to walk ? Why, Madam PhilUs, 
do you wish yourself lame ? 


PHILLIS : No, Mr Tom, but I wish I were generally 
carry'd on a Coach or Chair, and of a Fortune neither to 
stand nor go, but to totter, or slide, to be short-sighted, 
or stare, to fleer in the Face, to look distant, to observe, to 
overlook, yet all become me, and if I was rich, I could 
twire and loll as well as the best of them. Oh Tom ! Tom I 
is it not a pity, that you shou'd be so great a Coxcomb, and 
I so great a Coquet, and yet be such poor Devils as we are ? 

RICHARD STEELE, The Conscious Lovers (1722) 


If she be rich, then she is fair, fine, absolute and perfect, 
then they burn like fire, they love her dearly, like pig and 
pye, and are ready to hang themselves if they may not 
have her. ROBERT BURTON 

The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 


THOMAS : But has she got the stuff, Mr. Fag ? Is she rich, 
hey ? 

FAG : Rich ! Why, I believe she owns half the stocks ! 
Zounds ! Thomas, she could pay the national debt as 
easily as I could my washerwoman ! She has a lap-dog 
that eats out of gold, she feeds her parrot with small 
pearls, and all her thread-papers are made of bank-notes ! 

RICHARD SHERIDAN, The Rivals (1775) 


As I sat in the cafe" I said to myself, 

They may talk as they please about what they call pelf, 

They may sneer as they like about eating and drinking. 

But help it I cannot, I cannot help thinking 

How pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho ! 

How pleasant it is to have money ! 


Poems (1849) 




See where she conies ; and smell how all the street 
Breathes Vine-yards and Pomgranats : O how sweet 
As a fir'd Altar, is each stone, 
Perspiring pounded Cynamon. 

The Phenix nest, 
Built up of odours, burneth in her breast. 

Who therein wo'd not consume 
His soule to Ash-heaps in that rich perfume ? 
Bestroaking Fate the while 
He burnes to Embers on the Pile. 


Himeriy O Himen ! Tread the sacred ground ; 
Shew thy white feet, and head with Marjoram crown'd 


Glide by the banks of Virgins then, and passe 
The Shewers of Roses, lucky foure-leav'd grasse : 
The while the cloud of younglings sing,* 
And drown yee with a flowrie Spring : 

While some repeat 
Your praise, and bless you, sprinkling you with Wheat 

While that others doe divine ; 
Blest is the Bride, on whom the Sun doth shine ! 

And thousands gladly wish 
You multiply, as doth a Fish. 


And now y'are enter'd : see the Codled Cook 
Runs from his Torrid Zone-) to prie, and look, 
And blesse his dainty Mistresse : see, 
The Aged point out, This is she, 

Who now must sway 
The House (Love shield her) with her Yea and Nay : 

And the smirk Butier thinks it 
Sin, in's Nap'rie, not to express his wit ; 

Each striving to devise 
Some gin, wherewith to catch your eyes. 


To bed, to bed, kind Turtles, now, and write 
This the short'st day, and this the longest night ; 
But yet too short for you : 'tis we, 
Who count this night as long as three, 
Lying alone, 


Telling the Clock strike Ten, Eleven, Twelve, One. 

Quickly, quickly, then prepare ; 
And let the Young-Men and the Bride-maids share 

Your garters ; and their joynts 
Encircle with the Bride-grooms Points. . . . 


And to enchant yee more, see every where 
About the Roofe, a Syren in a Sphere ; 

(As we think) singing to the dinne 

Of many a warbling Cherubim : . . . 


All now is husht in silence ; Midwife-moone 
With all her Owl-ey'd issue begs a boon 

Which you must grant ; that's entrance ; with 
Which extract, all we can call pith 

And quintisccncc 
Of Planetary bodies ; so commence 

All faire Constellations 
Looking upon yee. That two Nations 
Springing from two such Fires, 

May blaze the vertuc of their Sires. 


A Nuptiall Song., or Epitlialamie, on Sir Clipscby Crew 

and his Lady (1648) 


Now hath Flora rob'd her bowers 
To befrend this place with flowers ; 

Strowe aboute, strowc aboutc, 
The Skye rayn'd never kindlyer Showers. 

Flowers with Bridalls well agree. 
Fresh as Brides and Bridgromes be. 

Strowe aboute, strowe aboute, 
And mixe them with fit melodic. 
Earth hath no Princelier flowers 
Then Roses white, and Roses red. 
But they must still be mingled. 
And as a Rose new pluckt from Venus thorne 
So doth a Bride a Bride groomes bed adorne. 

Divers divers Flowers affect 
For some private deare respect, 

Strowe about, strow about, 
Let every one his owne protect. 
But hees none of Floras friend, 
That will not the Rose commend. 

Strow about, strow about, 
Let Princes princely flowers defend. 
Roses, the Gardens pride, 
Are flowers for love and flowers for Kinges, 
In courts desir'd, and Weddings. 
And as a Rose in Venus bosome worne, 
So doth a Bridegroome his Brides bed adorne. 

Who is the happier of the two, 

A maide or wife ? 
Which is more to be desired 

Peace or strife ? 

What strife can be where two are one, 
Or that delight to pine alone ? 
None such true freindes, none so sweet life, 
As what betweene the man and wife. 
A maide is free, a wife is tyed. 
No maide but faine would be a Bride. 


Why live so many single then ? 
Tis not, I hope, for want of men ? 
The bow and arrow both may fit. 
And yet tis hard the marke the hit. 
He levels faire that by his side 
Laies at night his lovely Bride. 
Sing lo : Hymen, lo : lo : Hymen. 


Maske . . . in honour of the Lord Hayes, and his 

Bride (1607) 



Behold ! how Hymens Taper-light 

Shews you how much is spent of night. 
See, see the Bride-grooms Torch 
Half wasted in the porch. 
And now those Tapers five, 
That shew the womb shall thrive : 
Their silv'rie flames advance, 
To tell all prosperous chance 

Still shall crown the happy life 

Of the good man and the wife. 


Virgins, weep not ; 'twill come, when, 
As she, so you'l be ripe for men. 
Then grieve her not, with saying 
She must no more a Maying : 

Or by Rose-buds devine 

Who'l be her Valentine. 

Nor name those wanton reaks 

Y'ave had at Early-breaks. 

But now kisse her, and thus say. 

Take time Lady while ye may. 


On your minutes, hours, dayes, months, years, 
Drop the fat blessing of the sphears. 

That good, which Heav'n can give 

To make you bravely live, 

Fall, like a spangling dew 

By day and night on you. 

May Fortunes Lilly-Hand 

Open at your command ; 
With all luckie Birds to side 
With the Bride-groom, and the Bride. 


Let bounteous Fate your spindles full 
Fill, and winde up with whitest wooll. 

Let them not cut the thred 

Of life, until ye bid. 

May Death yet come at last ; 

And not with desp'rate haste 

But when ye both can say, 

Come, Let us now away. 
Be ye to the barn then born, 
Two, like two ripe shocks of corn. 


An Epithalamie to Sir Thomas Southwell and his 

Ladie. Hesperides (1648) 



I saw the marriage of the trapper in the open air in the 

far west, the bride was a red girl, 
Her father and his friends sat near cross-legged and 

dumbly smoking, they had moccasins to their feet 

and large thick blankets hanging from their shoulders, 
On a bank lounged the trapper, he was drest mostly in 

skins, his luxuriant beard and curls protected his 

neck, he held his bride by the hand, 
She had long eyelashes, her head was bare, her coarse 

straight locks descended upon her voluptuous limbs 

and reach 'd to her feet. 


Song of Myself 



But the chiefe pleasure and pastime which commeth by 
wilde woods, is, that being joyned to your house and 
champion habitation, (which is the place, where it must 
be seated or planted) it is pleasant to the sight : for by his 

diversity of greenenesse, it marvellously delighteth, and 
with great contentment recreateth the sight. 

The second pleasure or pastime is, that the woods 
(beeing neere unto your lodging) are alwaies full of all 
sorts of pretie birds, which sing sommer and winter all 
the day long, and the most part of the night, as night- 
ingales and such other like, whereby their songs become 
joifull and delightsome to the eare, and so there is a 
pleasure and great contentment to the eare even to them 
in the house if it be neere unto. 

Another pleasure is, that in the said woods there are 
alwaies great store of wood coists, popingjaies, stares, 
cranes and other sorts of birds, which make you pastime 
to see them flie : and there may also pleasure be reaped 
in taking of them with little engines, as, with a call, nets, 
the tonnell, or other such like. 

The fourth is, that in the woods are to be had conies, 
hares, squirrels, and other sorts of small beasts pleasant 
to behold, and of great service for provision of vittaile. 

The fifthe is, that in hot seasons you may purchase a 
coole aire within the said woods, as those which will 
cover and defend you from the injurie and vexation of the 
sunne, and contrariwise cooling you whether the heate 
will or no : and therein you have also to behold a com- 
fortable greenenesse, both upon the boughes and ground, 
which keepeth his grasse greene through the coolenesse 
and shadow of the trees. 

The sixth, is, that in winter being in the said woods, 
you are out of the injurie and force of the winds and great 
cold, because they breake them off : and further in these 
woods you are solitaire, and may use your leasure, in 
reading, writing or meditating upon your affaires, without 
being disquieted or distracted, or drawne to cast your 


sight abroad over any far distant place or countrie, in 
as much as the sight cannot pearse through the boughes 
or bushes. 


La Maison Rustique (1572) 

Trans. Richard Surflet (1600) 


But inward round, in rowes there stand 

As well for profit, as delight. 

The Trees of Orchard, and the Wood. . . . 


Minerva Brit t anna (1612) 



PHILOTIS : Count Rhodophil's a fine gentleman indeed, 
madam ; and, I think, deserves your affection. 
MELANTHA : Let me die but he's a fine man ; he sings and 
dances en Franfais, and writes the billets-doux to a miracle. 
PHIL. : And those are no small talents, to a lady that 


understands and values the French air, as your Ladyship 

MEL. : How charming is the French air, and what an 
etourdi bete is one of our untra veiled islanders I'When he 
would make his court to me, let me die but he is just 
ALsop's ass, that would imitate the courtly French in his 
addresses ; but, instead of those, comes pawing upon me, 
and doing all things so maladroitly. . . . 

Enter Palamede. 

PAL. : . . . I want many things, madam, to render me 
accomplished ; and the first and greatest of them is your 

MEL. : Let me die, Philotis, but this is extremely French. 
... A gentleman, sir, that understands the grand monde 
so well, who has haunted the best conversations, and who, 
in short, has voyaged, may pretend to the good graces of 
a lady. 

PAL. : (aside) Hey-day ! Grand monde ! Conversation ! 
voyaged ! and good graces ! I find my mistress is one of 
those that run mad in new French words. 
MEL. : I suppose, sir, you have made the tour of France ; 
and, having seen all that's fine there, will make a con- 
siderable reformation in the rudeness of our court : For let 
me die, but an unfashioned, untravelled, mere Sicilian, is 
a bete ; and has nothing in the world of an honnete homme. 

PAL. : I must confess, madam, that 

MEL. : And what new minuets have you brought over 
with you ? their minuets are to a miracle ! And our 
Sicilian jigs so dull and sad to them ! 

PAL. : For minuets, madam 

MEL. : And what new plays are there in vogue ? And who 


danced best in the last grand ballet ? Come, sweet 
servant, you shall tell me all. 

PAL. (aside) : Tell her all ? Why she asks all, and will 
heare nothing. To answer in order, madam, to your 


MEL. : I am thinking what a happy couple we shall be ! 
For you shall keep up your correspondence abroad, and 
everything that's new writ, in France, and fine, I mean all 
that's delicate and bien tourne, we will have first. 


Marriage a la Mode (1673) 


The Russians, hearing the great respect we have for 
Foreign Dancing, have lately sent over some of their best 
Ballarins, who are now practising a famous Ballat, which 
will be suddenly danced at the Bear-garden. 


The Man of Mode (1676) 


I have much wondered why our English above other 
nations should so much doat upon new fashions, but more 
I wonder at our want of wit, that wee cannot invent them 
ourselves, but when one is growne stale runne presently 
over into France, to seeke a new, making that noble and 


flourishing kingdome the magazin of our fooleries : and for 
this purpose many of our tailors lye leger there, and ladies 
post over their gentlemen ushers, to accoutre them and 
themselves as you see. 


The Truth of our Times (1638) 


I hear emulous shouts of Australians pursuing the wild 

I hear the Spanish dance with castanets in the chestnut 

shade, to the rebeck and guitar, 
I hear continual echoes from the Thames, 
I hear fierce French liberty songs, 
I hear of the Italian boat-sculler the musical recitative 

of old poems, 
I hear the locusts in Syria as they strike the grain and 

grass with the showers of their terrible clouds, 
I hear the chirp of the Mexican muleteer, and the bells 

of the mule, 
I hear the Arab muezzin calling from the top of the 

mosque, . . . 
I hear the cry of the Cossack, and the sailor's voice 

putting to sea at Okotsk, . . , 

I hear the Hebrew reading his records and psalms, 
I hear the rhythmic myths of the Greeks, and the strong 

legends of the Romans, . . . 
I hear the Hindoo teaching his favorite pupil the loves, 

wars, adages, transmitted safely to this day from 

poets who wrote three thousand years ago. . . . 

You whoever you are ! 

You daughter or son of England ! 

You of the mighty Slavic tribes and empires ! You Russ 

in Russia ! 
You dim-descended, black, divine-soul'd African, large, 

fine-headed, nobly form'd, superbly destin'd, on 

equal terms with me ! 

You Norwegian ! Swede ! Dane ! Icelander ! you Prus- 
sian ! 

You Spaniard of Spain ! you Portuguese ! 
You Frenchwoman and Frenchman of France ! 
You Beige ! you liberty-lover of the Netherlands ! (you 

stock whence I myself have descended) ; 
You sturdy Austrian ! you Lombard ! Hun ! Bohemian ! 

farmer of Styria ! 
You neighbor of the Danube ! 
You working-man of the Rhine, the Elbe or the Weser ! 

you working-woman too ! 
You Sardinian ! you Bavarian ! Swabian ! Saxon ! 

Wallachian ! Bulgarian ! 
You Roman ! Neapolitan ! you Greek ! 
You lithe matador in the arena at Seville ! 
You mountaineer living lawlessly on the Taurus or 

Caucasus ! 
You Bokh horse-herd watching your mares and stallions 

feeding ! 
You beautiful-bodied Persian at full speed in the saddle 

shooting arrows to the mark ! 
You Chinaman and Chinawoman of China ! you Tartar 

of Tartary ! . . . 
You Jew journeying in your old age through every risk 

to stand once more on Syrian ground ! 
You other Jews waiting in all lands for your Messiah ! 


You thoughtful Armenian . . . ! 

You sheiks . . . ! 

You Thibet trader . . . ! 

You Japanese . . . ! 

All you continentals of Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, 

indifferent of place ! . . . 
Health to you ! good will to you all, from me and America 

sent ! . . . 
You Hottentot with clicking palate ! you woolly-hair'd 

hordes ! . . . 

You dwarf 'd Kamtschatkan, Greenlander, Lapp ! 
You Austral negro, naked, red, sooty, with protrusive lip, 

groveling, seeking your food ! 
You Caffre, Berber, Soudanese ! 
You haggard, uncouth, untutor'd Bedowee ! 
You plague-swarms in Madras, Nankin, Kaubul, Cairo ! 
You benighted roamer of Amazonia ! you Patagonian ! 

you Feejeeman ! 

I do not prefer others so very much before you either, 
I do not say one word against you, . . . 
Salut au monde / . . . 
Toward you all, in America's name, 
I raise high the perpendicular hand, I make the signal. . . . 


Salut au Monde ! (1856) 




Holland, that scarce deserves the name of land. 
As but th' off-scouring of the British sand, .... 
This indigested vomit of the sea 
Fell to the Dutch by just propriety. 

Glad, then, as miners who have found the oar, 
They, with mad labour, fish'd the land to shoar ; 
And div'd as desperately for each piece 
Of earth, as if 't had been of ambergreece ; 
Collecting anxiously small loads of clay, 
Less then what building swallows bear away ; 
Or then those pills which sordid beetles roul, 
Transfusing into them their dunghil soul. . . . 

Yet still his claim the injur'd ocean laid, 
And oft at leap-frog ore their steeples plaid 
A daily deluge over them does boyl ; 
The earth and water play at level-coyl. 
The fish oft-times the burger dispossest, 
And sat, not as a meat, but as a guest, 
And oft the Tritons and the sea-nymphs saw 
Whole sholes of Dutch serv'd up for Cabillau ; 
Or, as they over the new level rang'd, 
For pickled herring, pickled heeren chang'd. . . . 


Therefore Necessity, that first made kings. 
Something like government among them brings. . . . 
'Tis probable Religion, after this. 
Came next in order, which they could not miss ; . . . 
Sure when Religion did itself imbark, 
And from the East would Westward steer its ark, 
It struck, and splitting on this unknown ground, 
Each one thense pillag'd the first piece he found : 
Hence Amsterdam, Turk-Christian-Pagan-Jew, 
Staple of sects, and mint of Schisme grew ; . . . . 
In vain for Catholicks our selves we bear ; 
The universal church is only there. . . . 
How fit a title clothes their governours, 
Themselves the hogs, as all their subjects bores ! . . . 


Character of Holland (1672) 


In contemplacion of all which things, who would not be 
incouraged to proceed in this Voiage, having in a maner 
none other cnemyes but these Spaniards, abhorred of 
God and man ? 


Of the Voyage for Guiana (c. 1598) 


Frenchmen are not human beings, and must under 
no circumstances be dealt with as such. If a German 


nevertheless lowers himself to treat a Frenchman 
humanly, he is only doing it in order not to come down 
to the level of the French. 

The German must therefore avoid having any volun- 
tary dealings with a Frenchman, as otherwise he is dirtying 
himself and the German people indelibly. 

Pforzheimer Anzeiger 

His .reply to the person who complimented him on its 
[the Dictionary's] coming out . . . mentioning the ill 
success of the French in a similar attempt, is well known ; 
and, I trust has been often recorded : " Why, what would 
you expect, dear Sir (said he) from fellows that eat frogs ? " 


Anecdotes of Dr Johnson 



Remember the children of Edom, O Lord, in the day of 
Jerusalem ; how they said, Downe with it, downe with 
it, even to the ground. 
O daughter of Babylon, wasted with misery : yea, happy 

shall he be that rewardeth thee, as thou hast served us. 
Blessed shall he be that taketh thy children : and throweth 
them against the stones. 

Psalm 137. Book of Common Prayer 
Trans. Miles Coverdale (1611 edition) 



To the banisht Earle I came to render thankes, when thus 
he examined and schoold me. 

Countriman, tell me what is the occasion of thy 
straying so farre out of England., to visit this strange 
nation ? If it bee languages, thou maist learne them at 
home, nought but lasciviousnesse is to bee learnt here. 
Perhaps to be better accounted of than others of thy condi- 
tion, thou ambitiously undertakest this voyage : these 
insolent fancies are but Icarus feathers, whose wanton 
waxe melted against the Sunne will betray thee into a sea 
of confusion. 

The first traveller was Cain, and he was called a vag- 
abond runnagate on the face of the earth. . . . 

God had not greater curse to lay upon the Israelites, than 
by leading them out of their owne countrey to live as slaves 
in a strange land. That which was their curse, we English- 
men count our chiefe blessednes, hee is no bodie that hath 
not traveld : wee had rather live as slaves in another land, 
croutch and cap, and be servile to everie jelous Italians 
and proud Spaniards Humor, where we may neither speak 
looke nor doo anie thing but what pleaseth them : than live 
as freemen and Lords in our owne Countrey. 

He that is a traveller must have the backe of an asse to 
beare all, a tung like the taile of a dog to flatter all, the 
mouth of a hogge to eate what is set before him, the eare 
of a merchant to heare all and say nothing : and if this be 
not the highest step of thraldome, there is no libertie or 

If thou doost but lend half a looke to a Romans or 
Italians wife, thy porredge shalbe prepared for thee, and 


cost thee nothing but thy lyfe. Chance some of them 
breake a bitter jest on thee, and thou retortst it severely, or 
seemest discontented : goe to they chamber, and provide 
a great blanket, for thou shalt be sure to be visited with 
guests in a mask the next night, when in kindness and 
courtship thy throat shall be cut, and the dooers returne 
undiscovered. . . . 

What is there in Fraunce to bee learned more than in 
England, but falshood in fellowship, perfect slovenrie, to 
love no man but for my pleasure, to sweare Ah par la mort 
Dieu. ... I have knowen some that have continued there 
by the space of halfe a dozzen yeares, and when they come 
home, they have hid a little weerish leane face under a 
broad French hat, kept a terrible coyle with the dust in 
the streete in their long cloakes . . . and spoke English 
strangely. Nought els have they profited by their travell, 
save learnt to distinguish of the true Burdcax Grape, and 
knowe a cup of neate Gascoigne wine from wine of Orleans 
.... and v/alk melancholy with their Armcs folded. 

From Spaine what bringeth our Traveller ? A scull 
crowned hat of the fashion of an olde deepe porringer, a 
diminutive Aldermans ruffe. ... A soldier and a braggart 
he is (thats concluded) he jetteth strouting, dancing on 
hys toes with his hands under his sides. If you talk with 
him, he makes a dishcloth of his owne Countrey in 
comparison of Spaine., but if you urge him more particu- 
larly wherein it exceeds, he can give no instance but in 
Spaine they have better bread than any we have : when 
(pore hungrie slaves) they may crumble it into water well 
inough . . . for they have not a good morsell of meate 
except it be salt piltchers to eat with it all the yere long : 
and which is more, they are poore beggars, and lye in 
fowle straw everie night. 


Italy the Paradice of the earth, and the Epicures heaven, 
how doth it forme our yong master ? It makes him to kiss 
his hand like an ape, cringe his necke like a starveling, and 
play at hey passe repasse come aloft when he salutes a 
man. From thence he brings the art of atheisme, the 
art of epicurising, the art of whoring, the art of poysoning, 
the art of Sodomitrie. The onely probable good thing 
they have to keepe us from utterly condemning it is, that 
it maketh a man an excellent Courtier, a curious carpet 
knight : which is, by interpretation, a fine close leacher, a 
glorious hipocrite. It is no we a privie note amonst the 
better sort of men, when they would set a singular marke 
or brand in a notorious villaine, to say, he hath beene in 

With the Dane and the Dutchman I will not encounter, 
for they are simple honest men, that . . . doe nothing but fill 
bottomles tubs, and will be drunke and snort in the midst 
of dinner : he hurts himself only that goes thither, he can- 
not lightly be damned, for the vintners, the brewers, the 
malt-men, and ale wives pray for him. . . . But lightly a man 
is nere the better for their prayers, for they commit all 
deadly sin for the most part of them in mingling their 
drinke, the vintners in the highest degree. . . . 


The Unfortunate Traveller (1594) 

Thos old Hebrews esteemed the whole world Gentiles ; 
the Greeks held all Barbarians but themselves ; our modern 
Italians account of us as dull Transalpines by way of 
approach, they scorn thee and thy country, which thou so 
much admires t. 'Tis a childish humour to hone after 


home, to be discontent at that which others seek ; to 
prefer, as base Icelanders and Norwegians doe their own 
ragged Island before Italy or Greece, the Gardens of the 
world. There is a base Nation in the North, saith Pliny , 
called Chauciy that live amongst rockes and sands by the 
sea side, feede on fish, drinke water ; and yet these base 
people account themselves slaves in respect when they 
come to Rome. 


The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621. Edition 1632) 


The players being denied coming to Oxford by the Vice- 
Chancellor, and that very rightly, tho' they might as well 
have been here as Handell and his lowsy crew, a great 
number of foreign fidlers. 


Diary (July 6th, 1733) 



I should like to thank, for permission to use copyright material, 
the following authors, authors' representatives, and publishers : 
Mr. David Garnett and Messrs. Chatto & Windus, A Rabbit in the 
Air ; Mr. Stuart Gilbert and Messrs. Desmond Harmsworth, 
Night Flight, Mr. T. Hodgkin and the Oxford University Press, 
translation of a letter of Sidonius ; the family of Gerard Manley 
Hopkins and the Oxford University Press, A Vision of the Mer- 
maids, and The Stars ; Mr. Robert Lynd and Messrs. Methuen 
& Co., Happy England ; Miss E. J. Scovell, A girl and her sister ; 
Mr, Logan Pearsall Smith and Messrs. Constable & Co., Trivia 
and More Trivia j Mr. R. E. Tickell and Messrs. Constable & Co., 
Thomas Tickell ; Mrs. Woolf and the Hogarth Press, Orlando ; Mr. 
Thomas Wright and Messrs. Everett & Co., The Life of Sir 
Richard Burton ; Messrs. Macmillan, G. C. Macaulay's translation 
of Herodotus ; Messrs. Constable & Co., Emerson's Journal ; 
Professor Fmdlay and Messrs. Longman's, Chemistry in the 
Service of Man j and the Trustees of the British Museum for 
leave to use various B.M. MSS. I am also very grateful to Miss 
Marjorie Hope Nicholson and the Yale University Press for per- 
mission to use Miss Nicholson's edition of the Conway Letters in 
quoting from these. Finally, I should like gratefully to acknow- 
ledge the skilful, valuable and unwearying help of Miss D. E. 



ADDISON, JOSEPH, 212, 665 


ANON, 40, 44, 48, 75, 89, 201, 211, 214, 249, 257, 279, 
291, 344, 359, 489, 501, 561, 562, 580, 602, 616, 629, 
646, 727 

ANYTE, 461 




AUBREY, JOHN, 22, 25, 26, 31, 54, 81, 107, 131, 134, 144, 
169, 178, 179, 180, 187, 191, 192, 202, 229, 231, 233, 
270, 274, 282, 299, 306, 329^ 33 i, 33^ 340. 344. 349, 
359, 363, 369, 399, 433, 434, 44^, 467, 5"> 5^8, 53i> 
534, 558, 592, 615, 626, 631, 637, 659, 660, 671, 689, 
703, 710 

AUGUSTINE, ST. (OF HIPPO), 442, 648 

AUSTEN, JANE, 568, 629, 700 


B., J., 123 

BACON, FRANCIS, 238, 285, 298, 475, 636, 709 



BARTHOLOMEW, ANGLICUS, 15, 66, 67, 353, 511 




BEST, H. D., 30, 128 

BLAKE, WILLIAM, 339, 552, 554 


BLESSINGTON, LADY, 53, 248, 381 


BOSWELL, JAMES, 32, 38, 58, 59, 78, 120, 135, 217, 225, 234, 

333. 347. 352, 379, 396, 440, 445, 487, 534, 541, 546, 

554, 613, 625, 630, 662 


BRETON, NICHOLAS, 108, 372, 557, 559 

BROWN, TOM, 180, 259, 351, 516, 620, 663 


BROWNE, SIR THOMAS, 44, 133, 142, 145, 171, 175, 177, 

235. 250, 335, 338, 501, 583, 588, 645, 654, 675 
BROWNING, ROBERT, 200, 383, 428 
BUCKLEY, T. A., 275 

BULWER, JOHN, 114, 284, 584, 649, 651, 652, 653 
BURNEY, FANNY, 51, 546 
BURTON, ROBERT, 80, 82, 85, 213, 224, 230, 233, 263, 283, 

289, 314, 341, 448, 4793 512, 532, 535, 54~4, 551, 600, 

609, 657, 676, 688, 711, 731 
BUTLER, SAMUEL, 326, 376 
BYRON, LORD, 182, 194, 195, 213, 285, 326, 370, 475, 

476, 477, 478, 595, 624, 627, 628, 659 

C., J., 436 

CALAMY, EDMUND, 134, 436, 671 
CAMDEN, WILLIAM, 173, 619 


CAMPION, THOMAS, 166, 306, 714 



CARLYLE, THOMAS, 184, 542 





CHAPMAN, GEORGE, 208, 218, 239, 276, 319, 621 

CICERO, M. ^,254,295, 296, 298, 312, 420, 451, 480, 495, 


CLOUGH, A. H., 712 
CONGREVE, WILLIAM, 120, 121, 136, 221, 223, 323, 350, 

351, 379, 401, 414, 517, 571, 593, 638 

COVERDALE, MlLES, 461, 499, 569, 728 

COWLEY, ABRAHAM, 209, 246, 311, 335, 465 
COWPER, WILLIAM, 327, 513 



DAVIES, SIR JOHN, 149, 616 





DISRAELI, ISAAC, 26, 27, 117, 119, 137, 190, 196, 302, 376, 

4i?> 522, 533> 536 

ZP 737 

DRAYTON, MICHAEL, 62, 74, 83, 131, 174, 394, 427, 462, 

488, 639, 644 
DRYDEN, JOHN, 52, 101, 212, 269, 402, 460, 488, 492, 553, 


ELLWOOD, THOMAS, 251, 532 
ERONDELL, PIERRE, in, 364, 474, 486, 556, 606 
ESTIENNE, CHARLES, 79, 81, 140, 244, 512, 513, 614, 718 
ETHEREGE, SIR GEORGE, 109, 255, 375, 409, 426, 722 
EVELYN, JOHN, 15, 108, 116, 148, 235, 236, 237, 243, 244, 
271, 310, 322, 464, 469, 471, 586, 635, 655, 681, 683 





FARQUHAR, GEORGE, 408, 426, 551 




FLORIO, JOHN, 201, 277, 294, 295, 343, 466, 536, 584, 648 

FONTENELLE, BERNARD DE, 21, IO2, 104, 193, 196, 264, 

308, 325. 355> 358, 3?6 5 536 


GAMBLE, JOHN, 22, 166 


GIBBON, EDWARD, 29, 36, 309, 342, 458 



GLANVILL, JOHN, 21, 102, 104, 193, 196, 264, 308, 325, 

355> 358, 376, 536 
GOLDSMITH, OLIVER, 31, 181, 288, 543, 657 
GOSSON, STEPHEN, 172, 505, 519 
GOUGH, RICHARD, 116, 117 
GRONOW, R. H., 183 
GUNNING, HENRY, 37, 439, 625 

HALL, JOSEPH, 210, 261, 595, 612, 675, 704 

HAWES, STEPHEN, 278, 320 


HEARNE, THOMAS, 181, 259, 307, 436, 439, 545, 615, 732 


HERBERT, GEORGE, 198, 666 

HERODOTUS, 163, 224, 265, 468, 581, 608, 638 


HERRICK, ROBERT, 29, 252, 330, 337, 373, 419, 454, 462, 

697, 712, 716 
HODGKIN, T., 314, 695 
HOLLAND, PHILEMON, 68, 70, 71, 72, 74, 115, 188, 197, 

294> 353. 362, 387* 4?8, 496, 502, 504, 506, 582, 641 
HOMER, 208, 218, 239, 275, 276, 319, 695 
HOPKINS, G. M., 104, 391 
HORACE, 171, 495 


HUNT, LEIGH, 212, 286, 519, 691 
HUTCHINSON, LUCY, 287, 413, 575 


JAMES I, 617, 660 


JEROME, ST, 330, 647 



JOHNSON, SAMUEL, 269, 333, 352, 419, 611, 663 


JOHNSON, W., 214 


JONSON, BEN, 283, 622, 692 


KEATS, JOHN, 88, 168, 389 

LAMB, CHARLES, 213, 427, 613 
LANGHORNE, J. and W., 640 


LUNARDI, V., 92, 94 


MACAULAY, G. C., 163, 224, 265, 468, 581, 608, 638 


MACAULAY, T. B., 225 




MARTIAL, 510, 646 

MARVELL, ANDREW, 463, 677, 726 


MENNIS, SIR JOHN, 85, 331 

MICHELET, J., 497 

MILTON, JOHN, 38, 59, 105, 161, 164, 202, 204, 240, 241, 

328, 334, 340, 347, 400, 405, 406, 431, 433, 434, 442, 

448, 491, 537, 611, 634, 643, 690, 701 
MOLIERE, JEAN, 422, 567 
MONTAIGNE, MICHEL DE, 201, 277, 294, 295, 343, 466, 536, 

584, 648 


MORE, HANNAH, 113, 310, 485, 516, 540, 666, 698 
MORE, HENRY, 39, 147, 444, 545, 686 
MORRICE, J., 436 
MORTON, THOMAS, 610, 707 
MOYLE, WALTER, 383, 642, 688 

NASHE, THOMAS, 293, 316, 678, 729 
NORTH, SIR THOMAS, 194, 313, 398, 592 


OSBORNE, DOROTHY, 138, 175, 538, 579, 585, 685 

OVID, 45, 52, 86, 223, 269, 274, 379, 402, 421, 422, 459, 

460, 518, 646, 672 


PARKER, SAMUEL, 295, 296, 298, 451 

PEACHAM, HENRY, 43, 86, 200, 479, 720, 722 

PEPYS, SAMUEL, 25, 55, 120, 145, 222, 246, 330, 369, 378, 

391, 402, 482, 504, 541, 544, 555, 587, 667, 674, 680, 692 
PERCY, SHOLTO and REUBEN, 524, 525, 527, 528 
PIOZZI, HESTHER, 78, 205, 271, 346, 445, 544, 628, 631, 

637, 641, 728 
PLINY (ELDER), 68, 70, 71, 72, 74, 115, 188, 294, 353, 387, 

478, 502, 504, 506, 582 

PLUTARCH, 194, 197, 313, 362, 398, 496, 592, 640, 641 
POPE, ALEXANDER, 119, 266, 268, 555, 656 
PRYNNE, WILLIAM, 444, 530 

QUEVEDO, F. G. DE, 397 


RALEIGH, SIR WALTER, 127, 129, 143, 376, 481, 626, 648, 

673> 685, 708, 727 
RAY, JOHN, 146 
REVENEL, J., 527 
RICHARDSON, SAMUEL, 299, 382, 410, 411 







SCOVELL, E. J., 632 

SELDEN, JOHN, 217, 218 

SHAKESPEARE, W., 79, 207, 281, 304, 353 

SHELLEY, P. B., 51, 182, 195, 395, 420, 514, 691 




SMITH, LOGAN PEARSALL, 169, 185, 199, 263, 312, 487, 

589, 709 

SMITH, SYDNEY, 122, 215 

SMOLLETT, TOBIAS, 49, 50, 220, 233, 315, 484 

STEELE, SIR RICHARD, 57, 58, 382, 597, 710 
STOW, JOHN, in, 322 
STRUCT, JOSEPH, 231, 232 
STUBBES, PHILIP, 371, 668, 669 

SURFLET, RICHARD, 79, 81, 140, 244, 512, 513, 614, 718 
SWAN, JOHN, 393, 515, 623 
SWIFT, JONATHAN, 16, 112, 121, 123, 124, 181, 415, 436, 

441, 449, 589, 672 







TOPSELL, EDWARD, 64, 65, 66, 68, 71, 198, 508 

TRAHERNE, THOMAS, 324, 361, 704 

TRELAWNEY, E. J., 17, 19, 286 

TREVISA, JOHN, 15, 66, 67, 353, 511 


VERNON, MR., 274, 672 


VOLTAIRE, F. M. A. DE, 585, 656 

W., Is., 253 


WALPOLE, HORACE, 97, 143, 205, 260, 270, 321, 380, 418, 

424, 449, 457, 485, 553, 680, 687 
WALTON, IZAAK, 24, 82, 83, 85, 105, 132, 139, 147, 170, 

312, 345, 442, 550, 588, 693 
WATTS, ISAAC, 193, 333 
WELSH, JANE, 139, 277, 543, 699 
WHITMAN, WALT, 214, 377, 378, 396, 425, 498, 718, 723 
WILKINS, JOHN, 88, 384 
WOOD, ANTHONY, 28, 54, 132, 176, 177, 257, 370, 441, 

WYCHERLEY, WILLIAM, 216, 339, 410, 448, 450, 680 



A girl said to her sister, late, when their friends had 

gone page 632 

A glimpse through an interstice caught 377 

A goodly hall 320 

Ah Posthumus \ Our yeares hence flye 454 

A learned and a happy Ignorance 324 

All nobilitie 692 

Among so many crownes of burnisht gold 707 

And first of all, my hart gan to learne 278 

And now unveil'd, the Toilet stands display'd 656 

And now what Monarch would not Gardener be 242 

And prytely he wolde pant 503 

And Spanish paper, Lip and Cheek 655 

And to your more bewitching, see, the proud 330 

As I sat in the cafe I said to myself 712 

As large, as bright, as coloured as the bow 389 

As you Apollo's Eldest Off-Spring are 448 

A time there is for all, my mother often sayes 230 

At last an hospitable House they found 402 

At Shearing time she shall commaund 559 

Awake, awake, my little boy 339 

Bee dum ye infant chimes, thump not the mettle 62 

Behold ! how Hymens Taper-light 716 

Behold the populous City in her pride 422 


Bella Italia, amate sponde page 500 

Busie old foole, unruly Sunne 336 

But inward round, in rowes there stand 720 
By the waters of Babylon we sate downe and wept 499 

City of orgies, walks and joys 425 

Come sleepe, o sleepe, the certaine knot of peace 337 

Come Sons of Summer, by whose toile 373 

Damnosa quid non imminuit dies ? 171 

Deutshe Worte hor ich wieder 500 

Deutschland, Deutschland, iiber alles 500 

Diana and her Darlings dear 48 

Down in a garden sat my dearest love 580 

Even as the sun with purple colour'd face 207 

For this is my minde, this one pleasoure have I 117 
For when the Saxons first receaved the Christian 

Faith 131 

From noise of Scare-fires rest ye free 337 

From the dull confines of the drooping West 419 

From the first Age the Theater hath been 518 

Fye ; what a trouble 'tis to count this trash 705 

Gather ye Rose-buds while ye may 252 

Grrr there go, my heart's abhorrence 383 

Had I but plenty of money, money enough and to 

spare 428 


Haste hither Eve, and worth thy sight behold page 701 

Henry the Fifth, he conquered all France 489 

Here could I tell you how upon the seas 616 

Here was he 208 

He travelleth to Tames, where passing by those 

Townes 62 

Hey ! who comes heere ail-along 165 

Holland, that scarce deserves the name of land 726 

Homer of Moly and Nepenthe sings 616 

I Beheld her on a Day 283 

I come from the city of Boston 425 

I danced the polka and Cellarius 221 

If I live to be Old, for I find I go down 447 

I find no cause nor judge I reason why 488 

I heard the Ruffian-Shepherd rudely blow 52 
I hear emulous shouts of Australians pursuing the 

wild horse 723 

I know not love (quoth he) nor will not know it 79 

In matters of commerce, the fault of the Dutch 265 

In rennynge the exercise is good also 201 
In Sparta long agoe, where Menelaus wore the 

crowne 291 
In this Kings reigne Pomona lived. There was not to 

bee found 459 

In this pleasant soile 240 

In various talk th' instructive hours they past 119 

I saw a countrey lasse 22 

I saw new Worlds beneath the Water lye 361 
I saw the marriage of the trapper in the open air in 

the far west 718 

It grieves me when I see what Fate 293 

It was in June, and 'twas on Barnaby Bright too 40 


I was glad when they said unto me : We wil go into 

the house of the Lord page 499 

I would be married, but Pde have no wife 611 

Land of coal and iron ! land of gold ! land of cotton, 

sugar, rice 498 

Let there be Patrons ; patrons like to thee 29 

Let us drink and be merry, dance, Joke, and Rejoice 368 

Like heavens two maine lights 319 

Little Tube of mighty Pow'r 621 

Look at the stars ! look, look up at the skies 104 

Merry, merry, merry, we sail from the East 101 

Methought I saw my late espoused Saint 340 

Mortals that would follow me 691 
Most things move th 5 under- jaw, the Crocodile not 198 

My Bed was such, as Down nor Feather can 331 

My Cabinets are Oyster-shells 653 

My Garden fill'd with Fruits you may behold 460 

My Palace, in the living Rock, is made 269 

Neptune sate in his Chariot High 385 

Nor delaid the winged Saint 105 

Now hath Flora rob'd her bowers 714 

Now purer aire 634 

Now warre is all the world about 490 

Oh the bonny Christchurch Bells 63 

Oh the wild joys of living ! the leaping from rock up 

to rock 200 


O Mine owne sweet heart page 562 
O more than mortall man, that did this Towne begin 427 

On a time the amorous Silvy 561 

On to thir mornings rural work they haste 241 

Or Faerie Elves 164 

O Thou that sleepst like Pigg in Straw 332 

Phoebe drest like beauty's queen 552 

Remember the children of Edom, O Lord, in the 

day of Jerusalem 728 

Saluting the deare soyle, O famous Kent> quoth 

shee 462 

See the Chariot at hand here of love 283 
See where she comes ; and smell how all the street 712 

See where she sits upon the grassie greene 205 

Shut up close Prisner in Mount-Orgueil Pile 530 

So from the turf outsprang two steeds jet-black 88 

Soft Recreations fit the Female-kind 379 

So hand in hand they passd, the lovliest pair 400 

Some talk of Gunnersbury 321 

Starrs Enamour'd with Pastimes Olympicall 75 

Stet Capitolium 495 

Still unaccomplish'd may the Maid be thought 223 

Strephon, of noble blood and mind 193 

Sweet she was, as kind a love 279 

Sublime Tobacco \ which from East to West 624 

Tell me you wandering spirits of the Ayre 580 

The Almond flourisheth, the Birch trees flowe 645 

The constant Cantharus 418 

The Fishes in the Flood 83 


The four and twentieth Day of May page 44 

The Grot he enter'd, Pumice built the Hall 274 

The Indian weede withered quite 619 

Theis are the spels which to kind sleep invite 335 
The Man whose vacant mind prepares him for the 

sport 74 

The Moon, in her pride, once glanced aside 359 

Then, looking on the waters, I was ware 391 

The Phoenix faire which rich Arabia breedes 307 

There is no happy life 403 

The Seas are quiet, when the Winds give o're 446 
These Nymphs trick'd up in tyers, the Sea-gods to 

delight 394 

The Servants then (commanded) soone obaid 218 

The Star that bids the Shepherd fold 161 

The Streets seem'd paved with golden stones 704 

The Tyrian Merchant, or the Portuguese 389 

The utmost Malice of their Stars is past 492 

The world below the brine 396 

Tho' Miracles cease yet Wonders increase 96 

Thou art a day of mirth 666 

Thou only canst each absent Blessing grant 339 
Thou who shalt stop, where Thames' translucent 

wave 268 

Thro' the green Oake-wood on a lucent Morn 211 

Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd 334 
Tis now a time when (Zephyrus) all with dancing 166 
Tis the voice of the Sluggard ; I hear him complain 333 

To encounter feast with houswifry 276 

To see a strange out-landish Fowle 60 1 

To see his face, the Lyon walkt along 281 

To sup with thee thou didst me home invite 697 

Travellers gain Rest, but by coming Home 680 


Vertue could see to do what vertue would page 690 

Vex'd with a Thousand Pigmy friends, and such 85 

Wassail the trees, that they may beare 462 

We allow'd you Beauty, and we did submit 209 

We flourisht long 174 

We things cal'd women, only made for shew 222 

What is that Land, says he, the Waves embrace ? 672 

What musick is there that compar'd may be 63 

When Britain first at heaven's command 494 

When God did Man to his own likenes make 246 

When he descended downe the mount 280 

When I who was Amans, which we translate 45 

When love with unconfined wings 529 
When Phoebus lifts his head out of the Winteres 

wave 644 

When timely death my life and fortune ends 306 

When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy 554 

When thou dos't dance the Spheares doe play 166 

When we have run our Passions heat 463 

Whereas the Hermit leads a sweet retyred life 639 

Where lives the man that never yet did heare 149 

Where the remote Bermudas ride 677 

Who can live in heart so glad 557 

Who is it will repaire 602 

Who would not joy to see his conquering hand 465 

Why shou'd Old Age to most so dreadful be ? 450 

With Horns and with Hounds I waken the Day 212 

Without the hall, and close upon the gate 239 

Yesterday I went 129 

Ye Virgins that from Cupids tents 253 

Y'expect to hear at least what Love hath past 260 

Yon cottager, who weaves at her own door 327 


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The Gamelot Press Ltd., London and Southampton